Memorial of Saint Charles Lwanga and Companions, martyrs
(Acts 19:1-8; John 16:29-33)
After two or three days without sunshine most people become gloomy. Think of how somber it must feel to have only an hour or so of sun for a number of weeks. This is the experience of those working in Antarctica now and in the Arctic region in December. Perhaps it might describe the lives of those disciples whom Paul meets in today’s reading from Acts.
Christianity without the Holy Spirit is sheer will power. It is trying to love without feeling, trying to think without peace of mind. The Holy Spirit provides heightened awareness and greater urgency so that one can do what it difficult. Once the disciples of the passage receive the Holy Spirit, they begin to praise the Lord and make the necessary connections between him and their daily lives.
Next Sunday, the Feast of Pentecost, we celebrate the Holy Spirit. We should be asking God now to renew the Spirit’s presence within us then. We want to see each person as a brother or sister so that we might love them as Jesus commands. We want to feel the Father’s closeness so that we might thank Him as is our duty.