Psalm 47:2-3, 6-9; Ephesians 1:17-23; Mark 16:15-20
7th Sunday of Easter or The Ascension of the Lord
In a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:5)
Doesn’t it strike you as odd that Jesus would say this just before he ascended into heaven? Here he is, about to take up his throne as Lord of all creation, and he’s talking about something else! Why not talk about the glory that is about to come to him instead? These must be important words, then!
So what is this baptism in the Spirit that Jesus talked about, and why is it so important? We know that people involved in the Charismatic Renewal use the term, but it can’t be limited to just one renewal movement, can it?
No, baptism in the Spirit is a grace that anyone can receive.
Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, the preacher to the papal household, often says that it may not be a sacrament, but it is related to Baptism and Confirmation. It’s an experience in which we feel Jesus’ love in a deep way, and we begin to feel the graces of our Baptism and Confirmation in a new and deeper way. It’s as if they were released in our lives more fully, and we find new power to live out the gospel and to share our faith with the people around us. It’s the kind of grace that Peter and the other apostles experienced on Pentecost—and it’s meant for all of us!
This release of the Spirit in our lives is the “promise of the Father” that Jesus made possible for us when he died and rose and ascended (Acts 1:4). It’s the heritage of every believer in the Lord: the ability to live by the power of the Spirit and not just by human intellect and willpower.
Pentecost is only a week away. Let’s spend this time asking the Lord to bless us with a new Pentecost by releasing his Spirit in our lives. Let’s ask the Spirit to set us on fire, as he did for the apostles. May we all be eager, gracious receivers of this magnificent promise of the Father!
“Holy Spirit, come and set us on fire for you and for your Church!”~WAU