MAY 2019: BAPTISM – JUSTICE AND TRUTH LIBERATES HUMANITY

Introduction

“To believe in the Holy Spirit means to worship him as God just like the Father and the Son. It means to believe that the Holy Spirit comes into our hearts so that we as children of God might know our Father in heaven. Moved by God’s Spirit, we can change the face of the earth” (YOUCAT, 113)

OPENING PRAYER

Invite a member of the BEC to say the opening prayer

OPENING HYMN

COME HOLY SPIRIT

Come, Holy Spirit, I need you
Come, sweet Spirit, I pray
Come in your strength and your power
Come in your own gentle way

Come as a rest to the weary
Come as a balm to the sore
Come, Lord, as strength to my weakness
Fill me with joy evermore

Come, Holy Spirit, I need you
Come, sweet Spirit, I pray
Come in your strength and your power
Come in your own gentle way

DIALOGUE

In the Acts of the Apostles, we read that Holy Spirit came upon those gathered in the upper room on the day of Pentecost. With the coming of the Spirit, the apostles began to boldly proclaim the gospel of Jesus and to perform mighty miracles in his name. On the day of our Baptism, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us and has been working in us so that we may make a difference in the world.

In his homily on the Feast of Pentecost on May 2018, Pope Francis stated that the Bible makes it clear that the Holy Spirit brings a real power to change individuals and the Church. According to the Pope, “”The Spirit frees hearts chained by fear” and “To those content with half measures he inspires whole-hearted generosity. He opens hearts that are closed. He impels the comfortable to go out and serve”. The Pope also explained that the Holy Spirit, “drives the self-satisfied to set out in new directions. He makes the lukewarm thrill to new dreams. That is what it means to change hearts.”

The Pope goes on to state that the Holy Spirit “… changes our hearts. It does not free us from the weight of our problems, but liberates us within so that we can face them.” He also prayed that Holy Spirit would “blow upon us, blow into our hearts and make us breathe forth the tenderness of the Father! Blow upon the church and impel her to the ends of the earth, so that, brought by you, she may bring nothing other than you.”

Buzz with the person next to you. Buzz a second time with another person.

What does Pope Francis mean when he says:

  • That the Holy Spirit “does not free us from the weight of our problems, but liberates us within so that we can face them.”
    • “Blow upon the church and impel her to the ends of the earth, so that, brought by you, she may bring nothing other than you.”

DISCERNMENT

Lk 4: 18-21

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”

And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

Reflection:

  • READ the text aloud and LISTEN with openness.
  • READ it silently by yourself until a word or phrase touches or strikes you.
  • What is the Holy Spirit saying to you through the word or phrase? (write it down)
  • What do you say to the Lord in response to his Word? (write it down)
  • Share in small groups (3-4 persons)

Deeds:

Jesus recognised the presence of the Holy Spirit in his life and the mission the Spirit has sent him to accomplish.  

  • Do you recognise the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life? What do you have to do to have a closer relationship with the Holy Spirit?
  • At this time, do you feel that the Holy Spirit prompting your BEC to move out of your “comfort zone” and “to set new directions”? If yes, what do you think are these “new directions”?

CLOSING PRAYER

Invite someone to say the concluding prayer

CLOSING HYMN

GO TELL EVERYONE

God’s spirit is in my heart
He has called me and set me apart
This is what I have to do
What I have to do

Chorus

He sent me to give good news to the poor
Tell prisoners that they are prisoners no more
Tell blind people that they can see,
And set the downtrodden free
And go tell everyone 
The news that the kingdom of God has come
And go tell everyone 
The news that the kingdom of God has come

Just as the Father sent me
So I’m sending out to be
My witnesses throughout the world
The whole of the world

Chorus


Don’t worry what You have to say
Don’t worry because on that day
God’s spirit will speak in your heart
Will speak in your heart 

Chorus

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