"We have never even heard there is a Holy Spirit." Acts 19:2
For many years, one of our friars from Australia conducted a little contest with our novices, asking them to name the the six states of his homeland. With a twinkle in his eye, he reminded the novices that he had already given them a hint, knowing full well that the majority would not know there were six states in Australia, much less be able to name them.
I always enjoyed hearing about this exercise because it is true about so much of the world. How many countries in Africa? How many in Europe or South America? There is so much about the physical world we don't know. Why should we be surprised that the disciples in Ephesus tell St Paul that they have never even heard of the Holy Spirit. In truth, most Catholics know little about the Holy Spirit even today, and too many do not realize how vital the Spirit is to their daily lives.
This is all the more serious when we realize that it is the promise and gift of the Holy Spirit that sustained the earliest Christians after Jesus ascended into heaven. For the first community of believers the Holy Spirit was strong, palpable and very real. It was the Holy Spirit that allowed them to let go of their fears, proclaim the Good News and go to the ends of the earth baptizing in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Today, pray to the Holy Spirit for strength to live and announce the Gospel.
Has the Holy Spirit ever been active in your life? If so, how did you respond?