Weekend Reflection – for you. Aidan Troy, C.P. - just my view!
At Monday’s Pastoral Council, the words spoken by parishioners and their sharing, convinced me that the Holy Spirit is powerful and active among us.
The Spirit is always present – where two or three are gathered in the name of Jesus, He is there. On occasion factors can mask or conceal the presence of the Spirit. My sinfulness, my closed mind or mean spirit, my refusal to hear the other in sincerity and truth, can all dim my awareness of the activity of the Holy Spirit. At Monday night’s Pastoral Council, the Spirit came through to me loudly and clearly through the presence and words of the participants. I am truly grateful to the participants and to God.
Bartimaeus’ prayer in today’s Gospel is a great prayer not only about blindness of his eyes from which he was cured, but also for us. Jesus asks him, ‘what do you want me to do for you?’ ‘Master, let me see again’ comes Bartimaeus’ plea. My sight is a gift for which I could never thank God sufficiently. My inner ‘eye’ of the soul can often be blinded by my selfishness and refusal to see the hand of God tracing the path ahead for me and for His Body, the Church.
My ‘blindness’ to the Holy Spirit, may I humbly suggest, can apply also to a Passionist community, a parish and to our Church, the Body of Christ. When the brightness of the Spirit grows dim, I stumble and lose my way with serious consequences. Blindness when humbly admitted, finds Jesus restoring sight – as He hears our Bartimaeus prayer. I can be afraid of facing the changes the Spirit is prompting me to see and accept.
My temptation is to continue in the darkness of blindness. At least, I have become familiar with all that makes up my life and ministry now. To risk the Holy Spirit showing me another way is truly scary. The past may be gone and deep down I know that. But, to let the past die and move on to a new life given by the Spirit, may be a step too far for me. At present, I know how things are, how they work, and I know how people react and respond.
To risk giving up my security and to take hold of the hand of Jesus so that I may see more clearly with His eyes, can paralyse me with fear. He whispers, ‘Do not be afraid.’ His is the Way. His is the Truth. This ends up with Life and life to the full. It is the only way forward.
Saint Joseph’s, loved and revered over the past 150 years, is at a crossroads. We can be tempted to recreate the past, especially when we remember the great times of bygone days. Those days were truly great. The challenge today is to risk asking the Holy Spirit what we need to now see moving forward as He wants
My fear and sinfulness are like driving a car with its hand break on. I can still drive forward but the way ahead is being slowed down and is doing the car no good. The Holy Spirit, to change my analogy, is like a sailor having the wind in the sails. The breath of the Spirit, like the wind, gives us progress beyond what we could have achieved on our own.
A moment of grace for St Joseph’s is being offered by God. Please join me in praying that hearts and minds be ready: “Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Holy Spirit.”