Daily Reflection
April 16th, 2002
Rev. Richard Gabuzda
Institute for Priestly Formation
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Acts 7:51--8:1
Psalm 31:3-4, 6, 7, 8, 17, 21
John 6:30-35

Filled with the Holy Spirit

Though it may come as a surprise to those accustomed to saving up enthusiasm for the celebration of Pentecost Sunday, mention of the Holy Spirit pours off the pages of the Acts of the Apostles and pleads for our attention even in these earlier days of the Easter Season.  That Holy Spirit is not a "something" to be celebrated forty or so days from now, but a Someone who directs, moves and, most of all, "fills" the hearts of believers.

Stephen, "filled with the Holy Spirit," challenges the religious leaders of his day and diagnoses the problem that keeps them from accepting Jesus:  "You always oppose the Holy Spirit."  Filled with that Holy Spirit, Stephen goes to his death, forgiving those who stone him.

Filled with the Holy Spirit, or opposing the Holy Spirit?  We are all directed and moved by some kind of energy.  What is the energy that causes us to act, influences our choices, gets us out of bed in the morning?  Is it the energy that comes from fear?  The desire to accomplish?  Is it the energy that makes us tired even before the day has begun?  The Holy Spirit dwells within us, not as a "something," but a "Someone," desiring to direct us, move us, influence our choices--to give us life.  Will we consciously invoke that present Holy Spirit to be our life, our energy, our driving force, today?     

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