Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Lent: Glorious Wednesdays

The third Glorious Mystery is the Descent of the Holy Spirit. According to my app, we are supposed to gain the fruit of Love of God from this mystery. Here is my take.

The disciples and some of the faithful women were in the upper room cowering in fear of the same group of people that executed Christ. They were probably talking amongst themselves about the various signs, mysteries, words, and miracles of their Lord. Since He had been crucified, they were probably pondering His odd words that foreshadowed His suffering and subsequent rising from the dead. They had all witnessed, at various points, His resurrected body, even if they didn't recognize Him initially. Then, as I discussed last week, they watched Him ascend into Heaven. However, at that point, they didn't understand any of these events one bit.

Who can blame them? These events are, after all, one miracle after another. We have the advantage of being privy to ALL of the information, signs, and wonders at our finger tips along with thousands of years of learned theologians interpretations and explanations. However, we still don't fully comprehend or even acknowledge the glories of our God.

Jesus told them that He would send His Advocate to them after He was gone from their sight. Of course, they didn't understand that any more than they did the other odd things He'd told them. Even with their limited information and understanding, the disciples and faithful women loved Jesus so much that they faced their fears together and met even though it could be a death sentence for them. This love and devotion to Jesus is what we are called to imitate through this Mystery. The Holy Spirit descended onto these lucky individuals and opened their minds to the glories of God.

At Confirmation, we invite the Holy Spirit to descend upon us in a similar manner. For most of us, it isn't the sound of a driving wind, the appearance of tongues of fire, or the sudden understanding of foreign tongues. Instead, it is a quiet whisper, as it did to Elias in 1 Kings 19:12. However, the whisper is not always heard. We tend to keep our minds so busy that the quiet that is God doesn't register. Sometimes, the only way for us to "hear" God, through the Holy Spirit, is to open our hearts to love God even though we don't comprehend His ways or His words. This love of God without comprehension is what the individuals in the upper room had -- a child-like devotion to the Master they had lost.

We're so busy being independent that we forget to love God first. If we allow ourselves to love God first, everything else will eventually fall into place. It may not be as we wish, but God cares for His own. All He asks is that we devote ourselves to Him, His ways, and His people. In return he gives us life here on earth and, most importantly, eternal life.

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