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Mysterious Holy Spirit

By Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

Today is Pentecost Sunday, the feast of the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Holy Trinity.

One difficulty in knowing the mysterious Holy Spirit is because He is represented in various symbols. The Holy Spirit is portrayed as a dove that hovered over Christ when He was baptized at the river Jordan. In biblical time, the dove is regarded as a holy bird.

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At Pentecost He came down “like wind.” “Wind” (pnoe in Greek) is used in the Scripture to designate a person’s “breath” or “spirit.” (Read Genesis 2,7; Acts 17,25). The Holy Spirit “inspires” or “breathes life into.” And one who is inspired receives life.

This is shown, for instance, when someone drowns and stops breathing. Somebody applies mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and his breath revives the unconscious person. This is a physical way of breathing life to a person.

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For the apostles of Jesus, the dramatic renewal happened when the Holy Spirit descended upon them in tongues of fire on Pentecost Day. From scared, weak-kneed disciples hiding behind closed doors, the disciples went out and boldly proclaimed the teachings of Christ.

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Like the disciples’ experience, the Spirit also calls us to conversion or spiritual transformation. I had a friend in the Ilocos who worked in the bank whose accounting expertise I consulted about school finances in our Divine Word College of Laoag.

He would talk profusely about money, but would keep mum when I shifted to religious matters. He wasn’t really that irreligious because he attended Sunday Mass regularly. But one would call him a “church pillar” – because, literally, he would just stand behind the pillars of the church!

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We lost track of each other for years. When we met in Manila, I expected him to rattle off his favorite topic, but surprisingly, he was now talking about prayer meetings, service for the Lord and the like.

“What happened?” I asked. “It’s a long story,” he replied, “but after joining a Life in the Spirit Seminar (LSS), I realized that I’d been missing a lot of important things in life. Where God occupied just the fringes before, now He is at the center of my life.”

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The Holy Spirit won’t change us unless we WANT to be changed.

Did you ever experience, for instance, how deep in your heart you should give up gambling or underpaying your workers or helping someone in dire need but just brush him aside?

The Holy Spirit prompts us but it’s up to you to respond, accept, reject or ignore them. But when you do accept the Spirit’s call, then that’s the beginning of a new, joyful and more meaningful life as Christ’s follower.

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THE LIGHTER SIDE. A Jew and a Chinese were arguing who among their ancestors came first in the world. The Jew said: “We, because we nailed Jesus to the cross!” The Chinese replied: “Really? From which hardware did you buy the nail?”
As the saying goes: God made the world and the rest are made in China.