Today is Monday the 17 May, in the seventh week of Easter.
Veni, lumen cordium, veni sancte spiritus. Come Holy Spirit. Come, light of our hearts. When we do not know how to pray, the Holy Spirit prays in us. As we begin you your time of prayer today, knowing that we are journeying towards the feast of Pentecost on Sunday, pause for a few moments to ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten you… to invite the Holy Spirit into your life, into your mind and into your heart.
Today’s reading is from the Acts of the Apostles.
While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the interior regions and came to Ephesus, where he found some disciples. He said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?" They replied, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." Then he said, "Into what then were you baptized?" They answered, "Into John’s baptism." Paul said, "John baptised with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus." On hearing this, they were baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied— altogether there were about twelve of them. He entered the synagogue and for three months spoke out boldly, and argued persuasively about the kingdom of God.
John the Baptist offered the ‘baptism of repentance’ – he asked people to admit they were in need of God's help and forgiveness, to say, "I am weak, but I want to be better." Could this still be, for me, the best way to prepare for the Holy Spirit to come?
When Paul lays his hands on these disciples, this account tells us, they spoke in tongues and prophesied? What must that have been like? And how does it seem to me now? Weird and wonderful? A bit scary? Or an encouraging sign of the Holy Spirit at work?
Listen again to the reading. Notice how John's baptism prepares these twelve people for Jesus’s baptism, and for receiving the Holy Spirit. They don’t need any further instructions in preparation.
The Holy Spirit is the gift by which we know God's unchanging love. These twelve new disciples, full of the Holy Spirit, were full of joy. Do I hope that the gift of the Holy Spirit will bring joy to me? I am loved with an Everlasting Love. Speak now to the One called Everlasting Love.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.