Thursday, 24 May 2018

Pentecost Sunday 20 May 2018 Sermon

Pentecost Sunday 20.5.18 Renewal

Mary leads us in prayer as she led the first disciples.

She was open to the Holy Spirit far more than they were, and receiving Him already, it was easier for her to help them.

She must have been a great source of strength to them; now, invisibly she can influence us as well.

We turn to her and ask her - ‘full of grace’ - to send some of that grace our way.

Grace means the love of God working in us, establishing a oneness with Him; helping us to correct sinful and false ways, gradually coming to see things in a different light; then to grow in virtue.

This can work for an individual and for large numbers.

There is enormous untapped potential, so many sleeping lizards who could be fierce lions.
So much to unlock on our part. She helps to create atmosphere of expectancy and we join in with that.

We are too easily discouraged, and ease off on the prayer when we should be intensifying it.

It is all there if we have hands to take it. Between people not wanting it, and not believing it is there, and not thinking they can have it - there is a lot of nothing-happening!

As the Church we have to get two things right at the same time: the internal and the external. Internal – we have to live as one, loving one another. External - that we can bring those presently outside the Church to accept the gift of the Holy Spirit, with all that follows from that.

The Holy Spirit can help us on both fronts. Whatever is wrong can be reversed: Cleanse our souls from sinful stain, Lave our dryness with Your rain, Heal our wounds and mend our way. Bend the stubborn heart and will, Melt the frozen, warm the chill, Guide the steps that go astray. 

What is wrong with us? Many will say Nothing, but that is itself a blindness, caused by sin.

If we compare ourselves with Jesus Christ we will very quickly find things wrong.

There is always need for improvement; and it is always possible for everyone to advance from wherever one is on the holiness spectrum.

People operate at a much-reduced level if they do not see the need to remove sin.

The Holy Spirit, being God, and essentially kind, does not want to hurt us anymore than necessary. Like a good doctor: this may sting a little… but then you will be much happier.

A lot of this is just realizing we can be better than up till now. People sign off too early in the quest for holiness. This is as good as you are going to get - but they do that too soon.

We can find all sorts of ways of improving, with a little initiative. Such as less pursuit of pleasure, better reading/viewing habits, volunteer work, praying more etc etc. Our spiritual sensitivity will increase, thus leading to deeper contrition, and then stronger virtue.

We just need a bit of a shake-up, like a rushing wind blowing upon us.

Not everyone has to be doing big things, like the apostles. Most of it is just attention to daily duty.

We believe that the Holy Spirit can make a difference, and we pray with more fervour. Any lack of faith or hope on our part is itself part of the prayer.

Come, Holy Ghost!

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