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The Holy Spirit is the source of our joy

The Acts of the Apostles gives us a rare glimpse into the world of the early church. With stunning detail, we hear of the stories of the life of the apostles and the followers of Christ in the first years after the resurrection.

During this time of Easter as we approach Pentecost, it is important to realize the central part the Holy Spirit played in the foundation of the church. In the first reading, we see Peter and John going down to Samaria and praying over the people there to receive the Holy Spirit.

It is the Holy Spirit that brings the fruit of joy as we hear in Psalm 66: "Let all the Earth cry out to God with joy!" So it would seem a follower who has received the Holy Spirit in baptism and confirmation should be filled with the joy of the Lord.

I get so much inspiration from Pope Francis, and in his homilies referring to the Holy Spirit, he guides us to be docile to the movement of the Holy Spirit in our life if we want to find true joy. Sometimes this means we have to say "no" to our own will. When we say "yes" to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, then we find lasting joy!

I think it is important to let people see this joy of the Holy Spirit when they meet us. As the saying goes, "If you’re happy, please remember to inform your face!" And, as St. Teresa of Kolkata reminds us, "Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love."

I think this smile, this joy, begins with spending time with God, allowing the Holy Spirit to stir in our hearts, asking – even begging – God for the joy we seek.

Let’s remember that a smile and joy may be more about others than ourselves. Being able to share the joy of the Lord with those in need should motivate us to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

 

Father Timothy Forgét is pastor of St. Jane Frances de Chantal Parish in Randolph and St. Mary of the Seven Dolors Parish in Osmond. Contact him at twforget@archomaha.org.

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