Thursday, May 17, 2012

Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Today is Ascension Thursday and Jesus was lifted up in a cloud and taken out of site.  The readings and Gospel today speak of the gift Jesus has planned for the apostles.  The gift “you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Sama'ria and to the end of the earth."(Acts 1:8)
The Holy Spirit is mentioned 57 times in the Acts of the Apostles.  There our 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit and two are mentioned in todays readings. “The Father of Glory may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him”(Ephesians 1:17) 
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are:
  1. Wisdom - Embodying all the other gifts. Wisdom strengthens our faith, fortifies hope, perfects charity, and promotes the practice of the virtues in the highest degree.
  2. Understanding - Helps us grasp the meanings of the truths of our holy religion. By faith we know them, by understanding we appreciate and relish them.
  3. Counsel - Endows the soul with supernatural prudence, enabling it to judge promptly and rightly what must be done, especially in difficult circumstances.
  4. Fortitude - Strengthen us to do the will of God in all things.
  5. Knowledge - Enables the soul to evaluate things at their true worth in their relation to God. It shows us the loving care of God even in adversity.
  6. Piety - Begets in our hearts a filial affection for God as our most loving Father. Piety finds the practice of religion not a burdensome duty but a delightful service.
  7. Fear of the Lord - Fills us with a sovereign respect for God, and makes us dread nothing so much as to offend Him by sin.

But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, (Ephesians 4:7-12)

As we near the last week of Easter may we truly enjoy the glory of the Lord and embrace all of the wonderful gifts which the Lord has hand chosen for each one of us.  May we listen to the Lord and follow the inspirations of the Spirit as they lead us.  Amen

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