This week we Lectio the Liturgy with the Prayer After Communion for the Vigil of Pentecost.
May these gifts we have consumed benefit us, O Lord, that we may always be aflame with the same Spirit, whom you wondrously poured out on your Apostles. Through Christ our Lord.
A common theme for the Prayer after Communion is the difference between consuming the gifts, a physical act, and benefitting from them, a spiritual one. We physically consume the bread and wine, but spiritually, we receive the risen and glorified Body and Blood of Jesus.
The spiritual benefit we pray for today is that we would be aflame with the Holy Spirit. The one and the same Holy Spirit that was poured out on the Apostles many years ago.
Aflame sounds like a nice warm glow, doesn’t it? In the Latin form of the prayer, the word used is ferveamus, meaning to be boiling hot, to burn, or be fired up. When I went back to the book of Acts and read about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles, they were more than glowing, they were on fire.
Before He ascended to Heaven, Jesus told the disciples, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
The power that Jesus promised is “Dunamis,” in Greek. It means explosive power and that is what they received. They were on fire, so on fire, in fact that not only was their faith renewed, but over 3,000 people fell in love with God that day.
Every Pentecost, we pray for the same things, "Lord, send down your spirit and renew the face of the earth.” Just like the Apostles praying for nine days in the Upper Room, we pray novenas, begging God for a new Pentecost, a new outpouring. Every year, we hope to hear that wind, to see the fire, and we ask, “Where is the Spirit, Lord? You know we need revival!”
I’ve got great news for you. Revival can begin today and it can begin with each one of us.
Revival begins with repentance. A heart that is truly sorry and knows that it is in need of God always captures His attention. Repentance precedes revival and revival requires change.
The Apostles didn’t know what was going to happen in the Upper Room that day. All they knew was that Jesus promised them the Holy Spirit, so they cleared their calendar and waited. Did they know how different their lives would be?
If we could go back in time, knowing what we know now, would we have gone into the Upper Room with the Apostles? You see, we can’t just sit in the pew, pray for a fresh outpouring of the Spirit and expect life to go on as before. Revival requires change.
If you’re truly desiring revival, re-live your Confirmation, your own Pentecost. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1285) tell us, “by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed.” You have already received the same power that the Apostles did. Ask Jesus to renew your Confirmation, and don’t be afraid at what the Holy Spirit has in store for you. Welcome the change, it will lead you to what God has in store for you.
If God decides to flood your church with tongues of fire, or he fills your heart with quiet peace and love when you receive the Eucharist, recognize that his Spirit is living inside of you, and you have been filled with power. Be not afraid.
Thanks for praying with me,