The Letter of St. Paul to the Romans tells us that those who are in the flesh cannot please God. He says that if we live according to the flesh, we will die; but if we exist by the Spirit, we will have to put to death the deeds of the flesh, and we will live. This is because those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, set their minds on the things of the Spirit. We, as Christians, must allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit to be qualified as children of God and joint heirs with Christ. To inherit these titles, we must be ready to suffer with Christ so that we may also be glorified with Him. It is the Spirit of God that will empower us to change from a life of sin and death to a life of righteousness and eternal life. With this new life, the Spirit will continue to dwell within us.
In the Gospel, Jesus told His disciples, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments" (v. 15). "Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him" (v. 23). Therefore, if we profess to be followers of Christ, we are expected to obey God's commandments. After all, it is God who showed us the true meaning of love. It is He who loved us first. It is just fitting to love the source of all love. When we live in the Spirit, we come to understand the love God has for us and we respond with the same love. When we live in the Spirit, we learn to share to others the love that we received.
You and I are blessed that in addition to our baptismal vows, we have also been called and gifted for deeper renewal in Christ through this community. Each one of us has been given many opportunities to serve God and our neighbours through the various ministries. If then we are striving to be true followers of Jesus and if the Holy Spirit is alive in us, why do we still have doubts? Why do we drag our feet when the Lord, through our elders, asks us to do more, to serve more, to love more? We know for a fact that there will always be more to do than servants to do them.
The more we allow God to dwell in us, the more empowered we become. The more we become empowered, the more we can love God and His people and keep His Word. The more we love God and our neighbour, the more we can proclaim to the whole world the Good News. In this way, we will never be burnt out because our hearts will be burning with desire for God. We can never be discouraged because The Advocate, our Teacher, will always be with us. We will become bold and not be afraid to go where the Lord wants to lead us.
May we all experience a continuous Pentecost, not only during this Sunday’s celebration, but always and every day. May we continue to be a blessing to others as the Holy Spirit transforms us into agents of spiritual change in the world. May we constantly strive to live by the Spirit and remain steadfast followers of Jesus, always rejoicing in hope, and never lacking in love. May we always be a Spirit-filled and Spirit-led people in a Spirit-powered community.
We are taught that the Gift of Jesus’ death and resurrection is the Holy Spirit, the personal love of the Father and the Son. His death and resurrection freed us from sin, and when we repent we are washed clean. But when we are empty of sin we could theoretically still be in a state of emptiness.
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