Reflections for Sunday, July 20, 2014

Yielding to the Work of the Holy Spirit in Our Lives

The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness. (Romans 8:26)

If you remember nothing else about St. Paul, remember this: he loved to talk about the Holy Spirit! For just one example, take a look at chapter eight of his Letter to the Romans, and you’ll see:

  • The law of the Spirit of life has set us free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2)
  • The Spirit helps us fulfill the just requirements of the law. (8:4)
  • The Spirit gives us life and peace. (8:6)
  • God will raise us up from the dead by the Spirit. (8:11)
  • The Spirit helps us put to death the misdeeds of the body. (8:13)
  • The Spirit convinces us that we are children of God. (8:14)
  • The Spirit is the foretaste of our full redemption. (8:23)

Paul goes even further in today’s reading. He tells us that beyond all the points he has made so far, beyond the theology that he has outlined in this chapter, the Holy Spirit is also an intimate and compassionate friend. The Spirit knows you. He loves you. Because he is God, he knows better than anyone how to help you.

So always be encouraged when you feel at a loss or when difficulties come your way. Remember that the Spirit of God makes intercession for you. Remember that your heavenly Father hears and answers the prayers of the Holy Spirit. And always keep this in mind: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:26-31).

“Thank you, Father, for the gift of your Holy Spirit. I welcome your Spirit into my life today. Help me to yield to his work in my heart.”

(Many thanks to The Word Among Us (www.wau.org) for allowing us to use meditations from their monthly devotional magazine. Used with permission. The Word Among Us Mass Edition contains all the Mass readings and prayers, and a meditation for each of the daily and Sunday Masses.)

Questions for Reflection/Discussion

  1. In the first reading, we hear that “those who are just must be kind”. What do these words mean to you? How does the cross reflect God’s justice and kindness toward you? In what way is there a conflict between justice and kindness in your life?
  2. In the responsorial psalm, we read that God is “forgiving” and “merciful”. We know that God forgives us when we confess our sins? How ready are you to forgive those who have wronged you? Why do you think we have a tendency to demand justice from God for others and but mercy for ourselves? Why is this contrary to the Gospel?
  3. In the letter to the Romans, St. Paul tells us that the “Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness.” How often during the day do you turn to the Holy Spirit, present in each baptized Catholic, to seek help and guidance? What steps can you take to change that?
  4. In the Gospel, we see that the smallest of actions (e.g., the sowing of a “mustard seed” and the mixing of “yeast” with flour) can have a very large effect. What small steps do you think the Lord is asking you to take in your life that could have a major impact?
  5. The meditation tells us that in addition to the many ways the Holy Spirit works in our lives, he is “also an intimate and compassionate friend.” What do these words mean to you? In what ways have you experienced the Holy Spirit as “an intimate and compassionate friend”?
  6. Take some time now to pray for the grace to fully yield to the work of the Holy Spirit in your life. Use the prayer at the end of the mediation as the starting point.

These reflection questions are provided courtesy of The Word Among Us.

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