Immersed in Christ: June 17, 2020
Wednesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
The Responsorial Psalm encourages us: “Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord” (Psalm 31).
What Elisha asked Elijah for in 2 Kings 2: 1-14 is the key to all ministry: “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.” The only authentic way to minister is as Christ, letting Jesus act with us, in us and through us. And the only way to act as Christ is to act by the Spirit of Christ given to us:
He ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father…. “You will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now…. You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses… to the ends of the earth.”
The gift of the Holy Spirit is a pure gift, but it is a promised one. In Eucharistic Prayer IV the Church professes that God sent the Spirit as his “first gift to those who believe.”
The one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father…. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever… the Spirit of truth…. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you…. He will teach you everything…. He will guide you into all the truth (John chapters. 14-16).
This is the foundation of confidence for all who minister as Christ: “Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.”
In Matthew 6: 1-6, 16-18 Jesus teaches that to be a good Christian it is not enough to keep all the rules and practice all the observances the Church commands. If we just do what everybody is expected to do we will not know if we believe in Jesus personally ourselves or just because we were brought up Christian and have never had a reason to change. To know God and Jesus as our God, one with whom we are in personal relationship, we have to “pray to the Father in secret,” privately, and express our faith in personal choices unique to ourselves. This is the only way I can know that my religion is my religion instead of just “conformity by inertia.”
Jesus said, “I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.” Servants do what they are supposed to do; friends act out of union of mind and heart with their friend. If we only do what we are “supposed to do” as Christians we do not know Christ. We are “worthless slaves”(Luke 17:10). To minister as Christ we must be in touch with the Holy Spirit in our hearts and act in union with him.
Initiative: Be a priest. Look inwards and express what is there.