Treasure Within

    An old beggar lay on his deathbed. His last words were to his young son who had been his constant companion during his begging trips. "Dear son," he said, "I have nothing to give you except a cotton bag and a dirty bronze bowl which I got in my younger days from the junk yard of a rich lady." After his father's death, the boy continued begging, using the bowl his father had given him. One day a gold merchant dropped a coin in the boy's bowl and he was surprised to hear a familiar ring. "Let me check your bowl," the merchant said. To his great surprise, he found that the beggar's bowl was made of pure gold. "My dear young man," he said, "why do you waste your time begging? You are a rich man. That bowl of yours is worth at least $30,000.00."

    We Christians are often like this beggar boy who failed to recognize and appreciate the value of his bowl. We fail to appreciate the infinite worth of the Holy Spirit living within us, making each of us His Temple and sharing His gifts, fruits, and charisms with us.

    How beautiful is the thought that the Holy Spirit lives within us! Saint Paul reminds the Corinthian community of this fact when he asks, "Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?" (I Cor 3:16). It is the Holy Spirit who develops our intimacy with God. "God's love has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us" (Rom 5:5). "No one can say, 'Jesus is Lord,' except by the Holy Spirit" (I Cor 12:3). Moreover, we know that it is the Holy Spirit who teaches us to pray (Rom 8:26). By the power of the Spirit, we also know the Lord Jesus through His Church.

    Pentecost Sunday is the birthday of the Church, for it was the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles and Mary that brought the Church into full active life on earth, and it is the Holy Spirit who still enlivens, enlightens, guides, and sanctifies the Church. The Holy Spirit will continue to do these things and more until the end of the world.

    There was once an Eskimo who used to take his two dogs for a bet-fight in the town square. One was a black dog the other was white. The people gathered week after week to see the dogs fight and bet heavily on the outcome. On some days, the black dog won, and on others the white prevailed. No matter which dog won, the Eskimo made money. The secret behind his duping of the people was that he would feed well the dog which he wanted to win. Do you feed your spiritual self and keep it strengthened by the daily anointing of the Holy Spirit to win over the carnal person?

    On this major feast day, we are invited to experience and appreciate the transforming, sanctifying, and strengthening presence of the Holy Spirit within us. This is also a day for us to renew our promises made to God during our Baptism and Confirmation, to profess our Faith, and to practice it.

In the Service of the Lord,
  Fr Thainese Alphonse


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