(Day 1 of Nine days Pentecost fasting and prayer)
Scripture Reading: Joel 2:28
As we kick-start our nine-day Pentecost fasting and prayers (Novena to the Holy Spirit) today, let us begin our reflection with the Prayer to the Holy Spirit by Cardinal Mercier (SEE PRAYER POINT NO 6 OF YESTERDAY’S REFLECTION). “Do we need a New Pentecost? Yes we do!” said Pope Francis on May 2013, during the Pentecost weekend in Rome. Pentecost is marked with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus gathered at the upper room at the instruction of Jesus after a continuous nine days of prayers. With this, novena prayers became a reality in the Church, thus making novena in honour of the Holy Spirit the first and oldest novena in the Church. The Second Vatican Council in the Catholic Church began with a prayer for a “New Pentecost.” The Holy Spirit was poured out on Pentecost and continues to be poured out on, in and through the Church, for the sake of her mission in the world. The Holy Father is clear in his teachings and his leadership; he calls every believer to ask for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, in our individual lives and families and in the whole Church.
Brethren we need to pray for a New Pentecost for the Church in this hour! We need more of the Holy Spirit for the work of the New Evangelization of the Church. We need to be baptized afresh in the Spirit in order to take our role as members of the Body of Christ in this new missionary age. The Church needs to rise up in this hour with the same power with which she transformed the world of the first centuries. She can by the power of the Holy Spirit! Every year, this celebration of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost is an invitation to us to have the same encounter. The purpose of Pentecost was – and still is – the empowering of the Church with the same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead! The Holy Spirit draws us into communion with the Lord and participation in His Divine Life and mission. That communion is lived in the Church. The Catholic Catechism, quoting St Augustine, affirms “What the soul is to the human body, the Holy Spirit is to the Body of Christ, which is the Church.” (CCC # 797)
To the early Christians, the Holy Spirit was very personal and had very familiar presence. A lot of believers (clergy and laity) today have long grown insensitive to the Holy Spirit and what He is saying to the churches. The Holy Spirit has truly become the forgotten One. Pope Leo XIII, in the first modern encyclical on the Holy Spirit, suggested that, “Perchance there are still to be found among Christians even nowadays some, who if asked whether they have received the Holy Spirit, might answer: ‘We have not so much as heard whether there be a Holy Spirit’” (DivinumMunusIllud). As early as the middle of the 19th century, Bl. Mary of Jesus Crucified, the “little Arab,” prophesied to an audience hard of hearing that, “the world and even religious communities and seminaries were seeking novelties in devotions and neglecting the true devotion to the Paraclete; and this is why there is error and disunion, and no peace or light.” We need the Holy Spirit to ignite us with the Fire of Pentecost that we might ignite others with a burning passion for Christ and His works.
- Begin your prayer with this song:” I will make my heart your dwelling place…I will build your throne in my heart…. come FATHER come SON come HOLY SPIRIT…come and have your way in my life” (3 times)
- Ask the Lord to forgive you for the times you have neglected the Holy Spirit.
- O Lord, revive me with your Fire in the name of Jesus.
- “Lord, I want more of your Holy Spirit. Activate every aspects of His work that have been dormant in my life. Bring me into a deeper relationship with you. Give me greater zeal to be a witness for you and live a life of prayer, love, and service. Pour out your Holy Spirit on the whole Church! We need you, Holy Spirit! Come and rekindle the Fire of your love in my heart in the name of Jesus-Amen
- Take the Litany of the Holy Spirit on Section A
Exercise: O Divine Spirit, renew your wonders in this our day as by a new Pentecost in the name Jesus (7 times)
Memory Verse: Acts 2:2-3