"Have you ever wondered if God is real and if you will live on in eternity? Although I had faith, I used to ponder these questions. On Pentecost Sunday, I died unexpectedly of sudden cardiac death. But thanks be to God; through intercessory prayer by many, I am able to provide testimony and bear witness to a living Jesus Christ - our hope of Glory. I hope my near-death experience will elevate your faith and belief in Heaven and thus help you focus your life on earth towards our ultimate home - His Kingdom." Paul Zucarelli
Paul Zucarelli, an ordinary person working in healthcare, health insurance and banking, will celebrate he and his wife's 40th anniversary this summer. A while back he experienced a scary alert while playing golf. Ten years later he received an ominous medical alert which pointed the way to a series of heart problems and he nearly died several times on Pentecost 2017. His miraculous healing and near-death experience transformed his life. God intervened and now Paul and his wife, Beth, have become evangelists helping people to know God's grace and love.
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REFLECTION FOR TODAY
May 12, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
ALLOWING THE HOLY SPIRIT TO TEACH
Jesus said to his disciples: "I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth." Jn. 16:12-13
Our gospel reference today may seem so familiar to us that we fail to grasp the deep message they communicate. Jesus was here saying that the Spirit will teach us all truth. He will even take the truth of Jesus and declare it to us. God's deep desire is to teach us about Himself that we might share in His life and know divine truth.
God wants to reveal to us, within the depths of our consciences, the deepest, most profound, and transforming truths that flow from the mind of the Father in Heaven. But we cannot bear it all now. Not fully. And eternity will be spent continually deepening our understanding of all that God reveals. And the process of this ongoing and deepening discovery will fill us with an ongoing and deepening joy. This will be our Heaven, but it must begin now.
First, it's important to understand that God does "have much more to tell us." Interestingly, coming to know how much we do not already know is itself a form of knowledge. Knowing that there is so much more, that God's wisdom is infinitely beyond us, that the mind of God compared to ours is incomparable is itself a beautiful truth that must be understood. This truth should both humble us and also fill us with a holy awe of God and the infinite depth of wisdom, truth, beauty and glory contained within Him. This is an essential first step.
Furthermore, by saying that "you cannot bear it now" does not mean that we should not try to bear more and more of the truth that God wants to reveal. In fact, it's a form of invitation in that it indicates that there will come a time when we will be able to comprehend more. This should once again foster a hope and anticipation for all that remains hidden to be revealed. Humility in the face of the infinite God is necessary for growth in wisdom and knowledge of God.
How does this growth in wisdom and the knowledge of God happen? It happens by the power and working of the Holy Spirit. It is the "Spirit of truth" who will "guide you to all truth." But even this statement, once again, implies that this is a process. It is the Spirit Who will "guide" you. And this guidance will continue throughout this life and on into eternity.
This teaching of our Lord begs the question: Have you begun the process? Have you begun to allow the Holy Spirit to guide you into the truth? Have there been concrete moments in your life when you came to know God in a new and profound way that could only have been possible by the power and working of God Himself?
Reflect, today, upon these essential questions. If you have had God the Holy Spirit speak clearly to You, then humble yourself before that truth. Pray for more wisdom and more knowledge of all that you do not know. And if you cannot relate to the idea of there being so much more that is beyond you, then humbly turn to our Lord and beg Him to begin to open your mind to all that He wants to say to you. The infinite mind of our God awaits you to be discovered and embraced. Begin the process today and let Him guide you into all truth.
God of all truth, Your wisdom, love and all Your glorious attributes are infinite in nature and are beyond my complete comprehension. As I humble myself before these holy truths, dear Lord, please bestow upon me the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, so that I may open my mind more fully to You by Your grace. May the process of deep discovery be one of great joy and become for me a process that continues into eternity. Jesus, I trust in You.
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Saint of the Day
As a lay organization, the mission of the Charismatic Renewal is:
- To help all people come to know the love of God in their lives as demonstrated through our Lord, Jesus Christ.
- To help our brothers and sisters respond to God's love by loving God in return through a commitment to serve Christ and His Church.
- To assist them to listen and follow the movement of the Holy Spirit at work in their lives.
- To help our brothers and sisters recognize the ministry that God has called them to, and accept the gifts that God desires to bestow upon them for His work in our Church and in our world.
- To lead them to a New Life offered to us by the Holy Spirit.