Bishop Richard's Weekly Reflection: “Let us be open to the Holy Spirit's gifts."

May 17, 2024

Dear brothers and sisters,

This Sunday, with the Feast of Pentecost, the great season of Eastertide draws to a close.  

St Paul, in this Sunday’s Second Reading from his letter to the Galatians, reminds us of the fruits that the Holy Spirit brings: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control. We must pray for the flourishing of these fruits across a world that is torn apart by conflict and the deprivations this brings to so many.  

It is important to remember always that we do not produce these fruits of ourselves – they are, after all, the fruits of the Holy Spirit. The Sequence for the feast reminds us: “If thou take thy grace away, nothing pure in us will stay, all our good is turned to ill.” Nothing is possible without the Spirit’s grace. Our responsibility is to ensure that we place nothing in the way of the flourishing of this grace within us.

A question for each of us today must surely be, therefore: "What, in my life, prevents the flourishing of these fruits? What things prevent me being a person who, as a disciple of the Lord, is a bearer of these fruits for my brothers and sisters?"

While we pray for the world in which we live, it is vital for us to accept the responsibility that we have for our brothers and sisters. Our openness to the fruits the Holy Spirit would bring about in us is a prophetic sign for the whole world. Let us be open to the Spirit’s gifts, the grace that is poured into our hearts, that we may be fruitful in our living of the Gospel.

With every blessing,

+ Richard

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