First Reading: Acts 19:1-8
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 68
Gospel: John 16:29-33
While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior of the country and down to Ephesus where he found some disciples. He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?” They answered him, “We have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” He said, “How were you baptized?” They replied, “With the baptism of John.” Paul then said, “John baptized with a baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. Altogether there were about twelve men. (Acts 19:1-7)
In today's first reading, we read about Paul's travel to Ephesus and the believers that he came across. The disciples that he came across were off to a good start, but there still was more to be done. They had been baptized by John, but his was a baptism of repentance, and they still had farther to go with Christ. Paul came in and instructed them, teaching them about the Baptism in Christ and about the Holy Spirit. Paul came to these men to put the finishing touches of their faith.
If you have ever made anything, you know the importance of the final step in decorating that item. Whether it be putting the icing on the cake, the stain on the wood, the glaze on the ceramic pot, or the paint on the wall. The final touches are the smaller, but very important steps to have a complete item. These final touches are necessary before an item can be used. Before a cake is to be sold or given to someone, it is to be decorated with icing. Before a chair or table to be put on display, it must be either painted or treated with stain. A pot is just hardened clay until a glaze is put on it and gives it a brilliant look. A wall is just a border of drywall until it has been primed and painted to make it someones room. While the finishing touches are not the base, they are still very important steps. The disciples that we read about had already take the first step which is to believe in Jesus Christ, after that they just need the finishing touches of Baptism and Confirmation.
By being Baptized and Confirmed, we have a stronger connection with the Holy Spirit within us. By following God, seeking His will and saying 'yes' to Him each moment; we can begin to let the Holy Spirit work in us. God wants us to be happy and whole in Him; and He wants to give each of us gifts that can bring this about. God doesn't want to hide His plan from us, He wants each of us to be active in it and to be seeking His will. He sends each of the faithful His Spirit to help us align our lives with His divine, perfect plan. The Holy Spirit works in the hearts of the faithful giving us grace filled gifts. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. Experiencing these gifts are meant to lead us closer to the Lord and further down the path of which God has set before us.
Let us each pray for the gifts of the Holy Spirit, so that each of us may follow God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.
Come, Holy Spirit. Fill the hearts of your faithful and make the fire of your love burn within them. Send forth your spirit and there shall be another creation. And you shall renew the face of the earth. O God, you have instructed the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit. Grant that through the same Holy Spirit we may always be truly wise and rejoice in his consolation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.