Audio Available!

Audio Available!
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Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Goal of the Christian Life - A Spirit-ed way of living!

At this point in the Easter season, over halfway through, we see a transition in the readings that prepare us for and direct us towards the mystery of Pentecost. Next Sunday, we will transfer the Thursday feast of the ascension (40 days after Easter) to Sunday and celebrate it together. Jesus wasn't with us forever, at least not in bodily form. God had other ideas for us: The Father sends us the Son to give us the Spirit. This is a short summary of God's plan of salvation. Jesus works our redemption, but we are united to that redemption through the gift of the Holy Spirit we have received in baptism and maintain through the rest of the Christian life in the community of faith.
The Holy Spirit according to Jesus' promise, leads us to all truth. We see this working in the first reading from the acts of the apostles.
Acts 15 is known as the first ecumenical council, the council of Jerusalem. It is here where Christianity made a definitive separation from Judaism. Even after this council Christians were still going to the synagogue, but they were also praying privately together in their houses. Soon after the temple was destroyed and the Jews drove out the Christians from their synagogues, Christianity fully developed its own liturgical uniqueness.
The apostles were guided by the Holy Spirit in their decision-making. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth, and it happens both in extraordinary ways like the councils (including other meetings like the recent synods led by Pope Francis) as well as in ordinary ways.
As a Holy Spirit leads the universal church, so also he leads every individual Christian to our ultimate goal: perfect communing with the father and son in heaven. Sometimes this happens in extraordinary ways, such as powerful moments of prayer or miraculous events of God's providence that steer our lives. Most of the time, however, this happens in ordinary events where the Holy Spirit is trying to speak to us and lead us and guide us and direct us.
Pope Francis said just a few days ago in a morning homily that "the Holy Spirit has been surprising the church since the very beginning". We must allow ourselves to be surprised by the Holy Spirit. We must not become stagnant, lazy, or narrow-minded in our spiritual lives. If God is going to do amazing things with us, it is only because we have allowed those amazing things to happen by taking daily steps in his guidance. St. Paul once told a Galatians, "if we live by the Spirit, let us walk by the Spirit." We should as Christians pray every day that's the only spirit may be the one truly in control in our lives.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful. Lead us to our true home, two are true happiness, One day at a time, one moment at a time.

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