Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion
(Acts 8:5-8,14-17; Psalm 66:1-7,16,20; 1 Peter 3:15-18; John 14:15-21)
Being Filled with the Holy Spirit
They received the Holy Spirit. (Acts 8:17)
As soon as the apostles heard about God’s work in Samaria, they sent Peter and John to find out what was happening. When they arrived and met the people whom Philip had evangelized, they had no hesitation about praying with them. They freely gave away what they had freely received, and as a result, many more people were filled with the Spirit.
Since the Spirit is already living in us through Baptism, the idea of being “filled” with the Spirit may be a little confusing. Maybe an analogy can help. When a husband and wife are in love, they are “filled” with each other. They cherish each other; they care for each other. They want to be together as much as possible. In a sense, they are being filled with each other’s love over and over again.
Similarly, we can be filled with the Spirit every day by turning to him in prayer and asking him to show us his love. Then we will respond by being preoccupied with the Lord no matter what we are doing. With the Spirit in the forefront of our minds, we will find ourselves trying our best to please him. What’s more, we’ll find him comforting us, leading us, and helping us feel God’s love more deeply.
Think about how much of an effect a husband and wife have on each other. They look out for each other’s interests above their own. They tend to be more kind, considerate, patient, and generous. Their love spreads beyond themselves to their children and neighbors, even to strangers. They are transformed by married love. Just so, when we are filled with the Spirit, we are changed. We become more peaceful and less irritable. We are more forgiving, more prayerful, and more dedicated to the mission of the Church. We are less selfish, less demanding, and less judgmental.
Never stop asking the Spirit to fill you!
“Lord, I want to be filled with your Holy Spirit every day. Never take your Holy Spirit away from me!”
Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion
- In the first reading, we hear that the listeners “paid attention” when the word of God was proclaimed. How expectant or attentive are you when Scripture is read or when the homily is delivered at Mass? What steps can you take to be more open and attentive?
- “Joy” appears in both the first reading (“There was great joy in that city.”) and the responsorial psalm (“Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.”). How do these readings describe the basis for this joy? What is the basis for your joy as you live out each day?
- In the second reading, Peter encourages us to “always be ready” to share with others our faith. How ready are you? What are the obstacles that hold you back from sharing your faith with others? What would it take to overcome them?
- What an incredible promise Jesus gives us in the Gospel reading: “I will ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth” – that is, the Holy Spirit, God himself dwelling and remaining within each one of us from the time we were baptized! How much do you reverence God’s very presence within you through the indwelling Spirit?
- The meditation ends with these words: “when we are filled with the Spirit, we are changed. We become more peaceful and less irritable. We are more forgiving, more prayerful, and more dedicated to the mission of the Church. We are less selfish, less demanding, and less judgmental.Never stop asking the Spirit to fill you!” What might you do to turn to the Lord more frequently during the day to ask him to fill you afresh with his Holy Spirit? What difference do you think this will make on how you live out your Christian life? Why?
- Take some time now to pray and ask the Lord for a fresh infilling of his Holy Spirit. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point.