[ WordBytes on Miracles and the Holy Spirit ]
Have you been feeling, deep in your gut, frustrated because the Church doesn’t look much different than the rest of the world when it comes to dealing with the coronavirus pandemic or politics or other crises? Are you ready to supercharge your faith so that you can look and be different than the world?
As scripture points out, there is much, much more that Jesus did than what we read about in the Bible (see John 21:20-25) — more miracles, more proof that he loves us, more teachings that help us understand what God wants to do in us and through us. And Jesus knew this would be so. This is why he told us that the Holy Spirit will teach us everything we need to know (see John 14:26).
The problem is: We want everything but we expect less, so we receive less instead of the abundant “more” that God wants to give us. And we see ourselves as less important to the plans of God than others are (such as your priest, that famous speaker you love listening to, or me perhaps), and so we do less than the great works that God wants to do through us — each of us!
Why are we stuck in this rut of insufficiency? Because Satan and his cohorts have been doing everything they can to disempower the Church. Why? Because we are a huge threat to them. If the Body of Christ on Earth today (you, me, and all who have faith in Christ) were to become fully active in the Holy Spirit and be who we really, truly, are — little Christs banded together and covering the whole Earth, doing what Jesus did — it is Satan and all evil-doers who would be disempowered.
Doing great things for God, with Jesus, and in the power of the Holy Spirit is precisely the plan of God. Jesus made that very clear in John 14:12 and many other times.
This is exciting to hear, but do we believe it? We want to conquer evil. We want to be a Spirit-filled Church. We want to be God’s instruments of divine power. We see how it happened on a daily basis in the Book of Acts, and we wish it could be like that today. So then, where is the disconnect? Why can’t we stop the coronavirus supernaturally? Why is there so much corruption in politics and in the hierarchy of the Church? Why have so many good Christians lost family members to the other side, and why aren’t their demons driven away by our prayers?
“Every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus as Lord is not from God but is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You, however, are from God and have overcome them, because greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:3-4)
With Jesus in us, we should be able to do everything that Jesus did. Everything and more!
“Truly, truly I tell you: Whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12)
And then he said, “The Father will give you the Spirit of Truth to help you and be with you forever. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17)
Wow! With the Holy Spirit in us, nothing should be able to stop us from being God’s instrument of divine power. Come forth, Holy Spirit! Come forth from us with Your power! Release Your glory!
What do we need to do?
1. We need to identify and then replace (with the help of the Holy Spirit) all of the wrong programming that’s infiltrated our ideas about the Christian life, all of the weak teachings about Christ that’s convinced us to be weak of faith.
Do not conform to the ways of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to know and do God’s will — his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)
2. We also need to overcome all of the bad assumptions that tell us it’s okay to be mediocre because only a few special Saints can do what Jesus did. Before Jesus arrived on the Earth, the Holy Spirit manifested through only a few special holy people. After Jesus died, rose, and ascended to Heaven, he gave the Holy Spirit to everyone — all those who believe in Jesus as their Savior — not just a few special people.
Jesus said, “Whoever believes in Me, as Scripture says, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Holy Spirit, whom those who believed in him would later receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. (John 7:38-39)
3. Now more than ever we need to repent of cooperating with the idea that we cannot perform miracles. In our world today, more than ever we need to rely on the Holy Spirit to replace our subnormal faith with the manifestations of the Spirit that were normal in the Book of Acts. The Holy Spirit — the Spirit of Truth — has truths to teach us so we can be set free to be powerful messengers of Christ bringing disbelievers and non-believers to the Faith.
Are you ready to become a normal Christian? Ask for it! Prepare for it by humbly and remorsefully confessing that we have become an impotent Church. We the Church have been compromising with the ways of the world, acting more like people of the world than the people of the Book of Acts.
Oh Lord Father God, forgive us for being content with our powerlessness! Thank you for all the trials and darkness in our world today, for they are making us dissatisfied with the old status quo of sub-normal faith. Come forth, Holy Spirit! Come forth from us with Your power! Release Your glory! Super-charge our faith In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
The Holy Spirit supercharges our faith
through the Catholic Mass
Here’s something that probably no one has told you: Receiving the Holy Eucharist is not the most important part of Mass. Why isn’t it? Because when we treat it as such, we are being very selfish. Let me be boldly frank: We are committing the sin of selfishness. Going to Mass is not supposed to be about “what I get out of it”. It’s not even supposed to be about “what I can put into it”. Get the self out of it and what’s left?
When we receive the Holy Eucharist, if we have been consciously and humbly participating in everything else during Mass leading up to this point, we have repented of our sins. We have united ourselves to God the Father through the prayers of the priest. We have united with the community, the communion of Saints, the body of Christ on Earth and in Purgatory and in Heaven. We have consumed Christ and offered ourselves to be consumed by him. And for what purpose? So that we feel good leaving church and going about the rest of the day or week? Or perhaps so that we can check off the duty of attending Mass from our to-do list?
Heaven forbid! God forgive us! The purpose of Holy Mass is to send us forth in the power of the Holy Spirit. Everything that happens in Mass, culminating in receiving Jesus in the Eucharist, purifies as followers of Christ to live the life of Christ. And this includes his purpose. And you know that he came to Earth for the express purpose of evangelizing people into the Kingdom of Heaven. Therefore we know that we should go forth from Mass with the express purpose of evangelizing people into the Kingdom of Heaven in every place that we go.
This does not mean that we obnoxiously beat people over the head with the Gospel. What it does mean is that, wherever we go, we make every place sacred. It means that the Holy Spirit, Who has already been given to us fully in our baptism, goes forth from us in power, drawing people to Christ.
Going to Holy Mass and consciously, fully participating in every part of it renews our true identity as Christians. We go forth from Mass as a Church that has been purified and reunited in fullness to Christ so that we can successfully evangelize the world in the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
Life in Christ is incomplete and self-focused if we have no life that manifests the holiness and power of the Holy Spirit. Our life in the Holy Spirit is a farce if it does not make us look any different than the people of the world. Our life as a Church (not just the hierarchy, but you and me and everyone who professes to be Christian) is sinfully incomplete if it does not draw people to Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Who are you praying for because they are not going to church? Has anyone reached out to them in the power of the Holy Spirit? Has anyone shown them that life in Christ means life in the Holy Spirit which includes the supernatural? Has anyone shown them that receiving Jesus in the supernaturally consecrated Holy Eucharist is so beautifully transformative that it can raise them up out of the trials of life and fill them with the peace and the joy that they long for, which only comes from Jesus through the Holy Spirit?
We all need to repent from the times we neglected to show others the truth about why going to Mass is far better than everything else they’ve tried. At the same time, we need to desire — as our top priority — to experience the empowerment of the Holy Spirit during Mass. Then we can go forth as believable witnesses, able to convince others by our lives as well as by words that Mass is not only worthwhile but, most importantly, life-enhancing.
You were given the fullness of the Holy Spirit in your baptism. This means that you were given all the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the charisms that make Christian living supernatural. The Christians in the New Testament show us what normal life looks like. Repent from living a sub-normal faith, and pray that you become able to release the fullness of the Holy Spirit from within you so that the Holy Spirit pours forth from you, as living water, to renew the face of the Earth.
Pray daily for this. Follow where Jesus leads you to learn more about how to release the Holy Spirit from within you. Keep at it every day. Make it your top priority so that you can be truly the life-transforming evangelizer that God the Father created you to be.
“I will bless you so that you will be a blessing.” (Genesis 12:2)
© 2021 by Terry A. Modica
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