Living in the Spirit

By: Fr. Jerry M. Orbos SVD - @inquirerdotnet - Columnist/Philippine Daily Inquirer | June 05,2022 - 08:00 AM

The story is told about a man who was hired to put on a gorilla costume at the circus, to the delight of so many people. One day, he slipped and fell into the lion’s cage and began to scream: “Help! Get me out of here!” The lion came up to him and said: “Be quiet, you fool, or we’ll both lose our jobs!”

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Today is the Solemnity of Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit that sets our spirits free. It is the Holy Spirit that removes the “costumes” and the masks we wear, and brings out the real goodness and freedom in each one.

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In today’s Gospel (John 20, 19-23), the Lord greeted His disciples: “Peace be with you.” The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Their sorrow turned into joy, and all their fears and guilt were gone. They were cleansed and empowered with the Holy Spirit.

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Come, Holy Spirit! This is a powerful and effective prayer. Let us say it, especially when we are troubled, tempted, or persecuted. The Holy Spirit is always available. The problem is we often do not call upon Him, and even when we do, we are not open, and we do not cooperate with His inspiration and proddings.

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What blocks the Holy Spirit? Sin is the biggest block in our desire to live in the Spirit. Sin is about living in the flesh. It is our sins that put off the flame of God’s light in our hearts. Without true repentance, we cannot “take off” toward true freedom in the Spirit.

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Today, Pentecost, let us check if we are living our lives in the Holy Spirit. How? By checking if we have the fruits of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us as enumerated by St. Paul in Galatians 5, 22-23.

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LOVE. It is a disposition of being focused more on God and on others, and less on oneself, that makes us keep going the extra mile, and keep giving the extra smile.

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JOY. Happiness and contentment come from being close to God, and being humble to people. It is something that radiates and spreads naturally and spontaneously.

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PEACE. Being in harmony with God and with others, being mindful of the common good, and being a peacemaker, as far as possible, without surrender.

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PATIENCE. Being composed amidst sufferings, delays, and imperfections, and trusting more in God, rather than in one’s own understanding.

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KINDNESS. Being warm, friendly, respectful, cheerful, helpful, and caring in one’s thoughts, words, and deeds.

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GENEROSITY. The ability to share, give, and extend one’s time, talents, and treasures, especially to those in need. Bigheartedness!

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FAITHFULNESS. Obedience to God, and loyalty to people, to one’s duties and commitments. It is about being honest and true.

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GENTLENESS. Being considerate and sensitive to the feelings and needs of others. It is about being mindful and being aware that other people have rights, and that we should respect them and not impose ourselves on them.

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SELF-CONTROL. It is about being disciplined, and not being mastered by one’s desires and ambitions. It is about being moderate and careful so as not to be overpowered by the temptations to be selfish, greedy, and proud.

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We have a choice: We can go on living in the flesh and suffer the consequences, or start living in the Spirit, and experience that freedom and joy that this world cannot give nor take away. Come, Holy Spirit! Free us from our sins and worldly attachments. Amen! 

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A moment with the Lord:Lord, help me to live a life that is open and in tune with Your Holy Spirit. Amen.

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