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Browsing Reflections Archive

May 17, 2021

Daily Reflection for Monday, May 17, 2021

Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners!

We encourage you to reflect on Monday’s readings at this link:
www.bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/051721.cfm

If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Acts 19:1-8
Responsorial: Psalm 68:2-7
Gospel: John 16:29-33

Our reflection on Monday’s readings:

“And when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.” Acts 19:6

The most overwhelming and profound moments with God cannot be captured with words. In today’s first reading, the disciples told Paul that they never even heard that there was a Holy Spirit, but when Paul placed his hands on them, they were overpowered by it and began speaking in tongues.

Faith is believing without knowing. These people didn’t need to know there was a Holy Spirit to be touched by it. Their belief and openness allowed the Spirit to literally speak through them.   

My brain is dismissive of this. I imagine deceptive televangelists putting on a show to swindle homebound viewers out of money. But people were speaking in tongues thousands of years before television existed, and there are people today who report the experience who don’t have reason to lie about it.

We each experience God differently. In my homogenous community of friends and family, prayers and worship spaces are wildly diverse. The pandemic allowed me to virtually enter churches I was reluctant to visit in person as dear ones invited me to “go” to church with them. In the safety and privacy of my home, I moved into foreign places of faith. Before becoming Catholic, the idea that Christ could be present in the Eucharist seemed absurd to me. It was something I needed to experience to understand.

Encounters with the Holy Spirit can’t be arranged or orchestrated, but if I allow myself to be still and open to the possibility, I will be touched and transformed.

Recall a time of being overpowered by the Holy Spirit—perhaps you were touched by someone who filled you with the Spirit, or your presence reached the Holy in someone else. Pray for the unknowing openness that allows the still, small voice of God to speak to and through you.  

May God’s Peace Be with You,
Trina Wurst

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