Thursday of the Second Week of Easter
Asking for the Holy Spirit
…the high priest questioned them, “We gave you strict orders (did we not?) to stop teaching in that name. Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and want to bring this man’s blood upon us.” But Peter and the apostles said in reply, “We must obey God rather than men. The God of our ancestors raised Jesus, though you had him killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins. We are witnesses of these things, as is the holy Spirit that God has given to those who obey him.” Acts 5,27-32
The creation of the universe and man’s salvation plan are God’s masterpieces. Both are not completed once and for all, but they unfold themselves in history until the end of time, of which no one knows what it will consist of, but we know through faith that it will happen. From the beginning of time until the end, the whole Holy Trinity has been involved in the plan of salvation, with different roles. In the Old Testament, the main actor is the Father; from the stable in Bethlehem to the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, it is the Son; in the time of the church, the main actor is the Holy Spirit. In order to understand the role and power of the Holy Spirit, just think of Peter’s transformation after Pentecost, when he turned from the scared man who had denied Jesus three times into the courageous announcer of today’s Gospel reading. In baptism, we too received the Holy Spirit, but, in those moments when we are called to witness our faith, we do not have the same apostolic courage and boldness as Peter. Why? Of course, the main reason lies in the state of grace that Peter, at the beginning of the church, received so abundantly; but it must also be that it depends on the fact that we received the gift of the Holy Spirit when we were little children and only had faith potentially. Even by the time of the sacrament of Confirmation, perhaps, we have not gone through a consistent spiritual progress. We have yet to loosen completely the package of the gifts we have received and let the Holy Spirit pervade us as It pervaded Peter. The only way we have to collaborate in this process of effusion is represented by our prayer. We must pray the Lord to increase our faith and so that the Holy Spirit can be poured into us, into our minds, our hearts, our mouths and into our work. It is the prayer that Jesus himself asks us to do: “If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” (Lk 11,13).