Lenten Reflection Day 5: Nehemiah 8:9,10

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“Today is holy to the Lord your God. Do not lament, do not weep! Go, eat rich foods and drink sweet drinks, and allot portions to those who had nothing prepared; for today is holy to our Lord.” (Nehemiah 8:9, 10)

Reflection

Let us not fast on the Lord’s day. God made Sunday for prayer, almsgiving, and joy.

Today is a day for worship. A celebration of the blessings in our lives. An occasion to relieve others’ sufferings according to our gifts.

Today’s Intention

Lord, this is the day you made for us. Please help us to experience and share it fully as you command us today.

Peace and Goodness

The Gift of Understanding

On the sixth day of the Novena of the Holy Spirit, we seek the gift of Understanding: to fall in love with God.

One can only fall in love with God when we truly understand what love for him is. What is this love? It is an unquestionable certainty in our hearts that what we know and experience is meant for our good and the good of others with the Lord at the center of it. If we apply this certainty in everything we do in our daily lives, we can succeed more often in our thoughts and words; we can experience joy more frequently, and we can give more freely the gifts we have received. This is particularly true and critical when learning and interpreting the doctrine and teaching of our faith:

The whole concern of doctrine and its teaching must be directed to the love that never ends. Whether something is proposed for belief, for hope or for actions, the love of our Lord must always be accessible, so that anyone can see that all the works of perfect Christian virtue spring from love and have no other objective than to arrive at love.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 25)

Let’s pray to the Holy Spirit to bless us with the gift of Understanding today and always.

Have a blessed day!!!

Fear of the Lord

Today in our second day of the Novena of the Holy Spirit, we ask for the gift of fear of the Lord.  Unlike the human worries we experience in situations which threaten earthly freedoms, emotional and physical well-being, and our desires, fear of the Lord achieves everlasting life. It is meant to help us to “love the Lord, your God, with all your heart with all your soul, and with all your mind” and to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22: 37-38).

These two commandments resonate today on the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Through the grace of the Holy Spirit, Mary and Elizabeth received the gift of the fear of the Lord. After initially being troubled, Mary replaces her anxiety with obedience to God: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38) and when Elizabeth humbled herself in the presence of to the Lord “how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:43).

The Feast of the Visitation also remind us of the commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself’ when Mary rushed to be with her cousin and Elizabeth recognized Mary as the Mother of God.

Both Mary and Elizabeth are exemplary models of the grace of gift of fear of the Lord. Let’s pray to the Holy Spirit to be overshadowed by the same grace today and forever.

Have a blessed day!!!

The Thirst for the Holy Spirit

Veni, Sancte Spiritus (Come, Holy Spirit)

I am always thirsting for the Holy Spirit. It is an indelible thirst born at Baptism. I feel this thirst becoming stronger as Pentecost approaches. The Holy Spirit is the truth that Christ gifted us: “I have much to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.” (John 16:12-13)

It is through the Holy Spirit that our hearts are purified and we remain in God: “A pure heart create for me, O God, put a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, nor deprive me of your holy spirit.” (Psalm 51:12-13) Moreover, it is by living through the Holy Spirit that we can say “Jesus is Lord.” (1 Corinthians 12:3);

If you thirst like I do, consider honoring the Holy Spirit in the next 9 days with the Novena of the Holy Spirit. This Novena is an opportunity to seek God’s gifts of grace:

The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, A spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD, and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD. (Isaiah 11:2-3).

Have a blessed day!!!