Friday, May 24, 2013

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Gifts of Holy Spirit

“The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him …..”

Today is Whit Friday or first Friday after Whitsunday, or the festival of Pentecost, The Seventh Sunday after Easter which commemorates the descent of Holy Spirit upon the Christian church in a very special way. It is perhaps unfortunate that we so often speak of the events at Pentecost, as the ‘coming’ of the Holy Spirit. The danger is that we may think that the Holy Spirit came into existence at that time. That is not so. God is eternally Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In fact Acts makes that quite clear: the Holy Spirit was speaking with David (Acts 1:16), the Spirit spoke through Isaiah (Acts 28:25), Stephen accused the Jews of having opposed the Spirit all through their history (Acts 7:51). In this sense the Spirit is God revealing his truth. At the same time something special happened at Pentecost.

THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
There are seven Gifts which we shall meditate on in turn. The overall purpose of the Gifts is to bring us closer to God. The Holy Spirit enables us to rise above the human level of life to a divine status. The guidance of the Holy Spirit is above reason but not against it. The Spirit gives our wills a power that makes us capable of doing heroic things. The Spirit makes us aware of the nothingness of the created things of the world before the majesty of God. The Holy Spirit expects us to produce fruits in our lives.

According to Isaiah 11:2-3, The Seven gifts of Holy Spirit are:
(1) The Gift of Wisdom: By this gift the Holy Spirit of truth and love, gives us awareness of the ineffable mystery and majesty of God in three Divine Persons, capable of judging all things as they pertain to God. (2) The Gift of Understanding: By this gift, the Holy Spirit gives us an immediate intuition or Perception of the truths of faith and natural truths as they are related to God’s will. (3)The gift of Counsel:  (right judgment): By this gift one would be able to differentiate between right and wrong, and can do what is right. (4)The gift of Fortitude: By this gift, we find we have the strength to do what God wants us to do even in very difficult situations; we are urged by the Spirit to stand publicly for faith.(5)The gift of Knowledge: By the power of knowledge the Holy Spirit enables us to see God in His creation, which reveals Him in the wonder of nature. (6)The Gift of Piety : By this gift of Holy Spirit, we are moved to see God as our most loving Father. We see and accept all men as fellow-members of the family of God. In order to activate this gift, we must remove all hardness of heart in relation to God or to our Neighbor (7) The fear of the Lord: This gift helps to maintain a loving respect for Almighty God, who is our Father and whom we adore in His infinite majesty and greatness. The spirit builds in our heart a deep love of God, so that we begin to fear our own weaknesses and will make us submit ourselves to His Divine providence.

Prayer: God almighty, we thank you for the gift of Holy Spirit. Help us to receive the power of the spirit to walk with you in our day today lives. Amen

Thought for the Day:  The Holy Spirit is the living God, not some inert concept. - D. Bon hoeffer

Live in Truth, Leave the Sin and Love the Spirit

Dr. Zachariah Varghese, Long Island MTC, N Y.