May 26, 2019

SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

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Christ Be Our Light

Follow our theme and review past reflections on our website www.stphilip.org

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit Light our Way
The Risen Christ commissioned the disciples and therefore us, to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News! Part of the Good News of Jesus Christ is the power of the Holy Spirit at work within us and among us. We are given all that we need to be the Light of Christ to others in our mission to love and to work for justice and the flourishing of all people.

As we journey through the Easter Season to Pentecost the same Holy Spirit that propelled the disciples to live their mission of Opus Christi, Christ’s Work enlightens us.

Through Baptism and Confirmation we are empowered with spiritual gifts. During this Easter Season we will explore thematically the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and experience them at work in our lives in new ways.

Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Fear of the Lord (“WOW!” Awe, Wonder, Amazement) is awakening to God’s blessings freely given: in the beauty of creation, the truth of compassion deep within us, the goodness of loving relationships – recognizing that “All is Gift.”

Piety (Reverence) is living gratefully in a graced world with a profound respect for all life and a passion to be faithful stewards of God’s bountiful gifts.

Fortitude (Courage) enables us to dream of what is possible with Christ’s love. Fortitude emboldens us to take responsibility for that vision and to creatively make it a reality.

Right Counsel helps us to sift and sort in prayer what cannot be changed and needs to be accepted and what can be changed and needs to be accomplished.

Knowledge focuses our priorities and shifts our perspective to think, feel and act with faith, hope and love.

Understanding is seeing, feeling and listening with the “ear of our heart.” Understanding and compassion are God’s heart.

Wisdom enables us to discern and relish God’s presence in all things, to trust in Providence and to therefore live with compassion on the journey.

Week IV – Gift of the Holy Spirit – Right Counsel
Helps us to sift and sort in prayer what cannot be changed and needs to be accepted and what can be changed and needs to be accomplished.

The Stubborn Mule
One night the poor farmer had a dream. In the dream the Lord asks him, “If you had a horse would you give it to me?” “Yes,” answered the farmer. “And if you had a cow?” “Gladly.” “And a goat?” “Sure.” “A mule?” “Now Lord, that’s not fair!” protested the farmer. “You know I have a mule!”

We laugh at the farmer because we recognize ourselves in his surface willingness to trust God until trusting involves something that really matters. We understand the farmer because we pray and have faith in many areas of our lives. We are often willing to share our time, talent and treasure. However, there is always one mule that we wish to keep for ourselves. We might call it, The Stubborn Mule.

The stubborn mule in our life is the situation, problem or person that causes us the greatest anxiety, anger or resentment. The stubborn mule is the aspect in our life that we are unwilling to trust God with. The stubborn mule really matters and so we keep it to ourselves. We may pray about it but in our hearts truthfully, we continue to fret and fear and as the expression goes – keep the pot boiling – stubbornly!

The Holy Spirit, in prayer, can teach us to truly and deeply hand over the stubborn mule in our lives to God. In today’s Gospel Jesus tells his disciples that he will send the Holy Spirit, who will teach them to be free from troubled hearts. Jesus promises the gift of peace, a peace that the world cannot give. The peace that the power of the Holy Spirit offers is the gift of Right Council. The Holy Spirit helps us to discern what can be changed and what cannot be changed and offers the gift of acceptance.

Acceptance does not mean that we stop having thoughts or feelings about our stubborn mule. Acceptance means that we continuously turn our stubborn mule over to God and say – “Take this stubborn mule – it is now your problem! Thank you.” We gain a deep inner peace and trust in knowing that God is working for our greatest good even when we cannot see it.

Activity
What is your stubborn mule? Take this opportunity to give this stubborn mule to the Lord. As we feel resistance in trusting God – we affirm that the power of God’s Holy Spirit is greater than any of our fears or angers or resentments. In this time of prayer, use your imagination to lead this stubborn mule to the Lord and away from you.

In the future, when thoughts and emotions surface surrounding the stubborn mule remember this prayer and that it is now God’s problem. Pay attention to the ways that God works in the situation for you and through you. Watch God teach your stubborn mule to work for you!

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