The Holy Spirit is a Person of surprises. As the scriptures state, "The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit" (John 3:8).
The Holy Spirit is always at work drawing us to Christ and the freedom that he promises as Sons of God. In this Sunday's first reading from the Acts of the Apostles we hear about how Phillip went down to the Gentile town of Samaria and "preached Christ." Surprisingly, the people of Samaria heard him and the whole city was filled with joy. --Joy is another sign and fruit of the Holy Spirit at work.
It is interesting that even before the Samaritans had received baptism or confirmation the Holy Spirit was alive and well in their lives. They were open and disposed to receive the message of Christ. And yes, even before baptism and confirmation, they were receiving the joy of the Holy Spirit. This was certainly a surprise.
Within our families and workplaces we must be attentive to the Holy Spirit's activity in those who have yet to receive the sacraments, be converted or even reconverted. Often times we become discouraged about family members who have fallen away from the faith. However, the Holy Spirit's activity in the lives of the people of Samaria demonstrate that even before a person officially joins the faith or converts or reconverts, the Spirit is at work drawing them and attracting them.
We need to have eyes to see the Holy Spirit softening the most hardened of hearts so that we might be His instrument in serving family, friends and coworkers in whatever stage of the spiritual journey that they find themselves.
Ad majorem Dei gloriam,
Father John F. Jirak, Pastor
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