Day 2 of the Fasting and Prayer Programme
Scripture Reading: Acts: 1:1-5
Stuck between Easter and Pentecost, the disciple waited in the upper room in prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Why the vast discrepancy between the spiritual power wielded by the early church and that exercised by the Christians of our day? The early church’s achievement was the outcome of the Pentecost experience. The Bible makes it satisfyingly clear that the power of Pentecost is still available to Christians of today as on the first Pentecost. The Spirit would not have come upon men and women in whose hearts there had been no prior preparation. The ten days of waiting in prayer had produced an intolerable craving for the fulfilment of “the promise of the Father”.
Deep in prayer, amidst the ruins of a tiny chapel on the outskirts of Assisi, Saint Francis heard a voice calling out to him from the crucifix, “Francis, rebuild my church. As you can see, it is falling down!” After repairing the walls of San Damiano chapel with stone and mortar, Francis soon realized his calling to rebuild the church far exceeded the task of reconstructing dilapidated buildings. God wanted him to reform the spiritual life of the Church, to strengthen the priesthood, to empower the laity — to ignite the fire for revival! Consider carefully the very last words which our Lord spoke as He met with His disciples on the Mount of Olives only moments before He ascended into heaven. Jesus had commissioned His disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel and to make disciples of all nations. But He had told them not to leave Jerusalem until they were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 18:23-28; Ps 47:2-3.8-9.10 (R.8a); Accl Col 3:1; Gosp Jn 14:1-6 WEEKDAY OF EASTER St Nerus & Achilleus, M (Opt Mem) St Pancra,M (Opt Mem)
1. O most Holy Spirit, I acknowledge that I can do nothing of eternal value without Your assistance. Come then, O most Holy Spirit, and fulfil the promise of my blessed Saviour when He said, “I will not leave you orphaned.” Come into my heart. Descend upon me as on the day of Pentecost when You filled Your first disciples with power from on high. Grant that I may fully participate in all Your gifts that you bestow with such great generosity. Take from my heart whatever is not pleasing to You and make of it a worthy dwelling place for Your holy presence. Illuminate my mind that I may see and understand the things that are for my eternal good. Inflame my heart with pure love that I may be cleansed from the impurity of worldly attachments. Strengthen my will that I may conform to Your divine will and be guided by Your holy inspirations. Aid me by Your grace to practice the divine lessons of humility, poverty, obedience, and contempt for all worldly ways, which Jesus taught through the Beatitudes.
2. Pray as the Spirit directs you.
Exercise: Take the “Litany of the Holy Spirit” in “Amen: It is Done” (pg. 23).
Meditation: Luke 24: 49.