THAT THEY MIGHT RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT.
(Scripture Reflection Acts 8:15)"When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit"
Ravi was recovering from an attempted suicide. A concerned friend gifted him a Bible, bookmarked at Jn 14:18-19. When his mother read it to him he prayed, “If you are the author of life, let me also live.”
Life can be hard. In the absence of reassurance we may be driven to dejection and, like Ravi, even to despair.
Jesus was acutely aware that his disciples would need all the encouragement they could get in his absence. So he promised them the Advocate, a divine intercessor who is called to the side of God’s children to offer strength and support (Jn 14:16-17), instruct them in the truth (Jn 14:26, 15:26), and defend them against the insidious works of the devil (Jn 16:7-11). The efficacy of this intercessor is manifest dramatically in the actions of Philip, Peter and John amidst the Samaritans (First Reading).
As Christians, we receive the same Holy Spirit at Baptism and Confirmation. Yet, the distraction of sin can smother the gifts of the Holy Spirit with transitory earthly pleasures. Only regular recourse to the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist, and a trusting attentiveness to Scripture can help us value those gifts, cope with the vicissitudes of life, and bear witness to Christ in the community at large.
Fruit: I will consciously safeguard and nurture the gifts of the Holy Spirit.