6thwk of Easter Mon
Jn 15:26 – 16:4a
When I was in high school in the 1950s, I joined the Legion of Mary and the Holy Name Society for boys. When we talked about religion, it was about how many children we catechized; how many children we prepared for Holy Communion; how many couples we brought to the Sacrament of Matrimony; how many houses we helped enthrone the Sacred Heart; how many houses we covered with the Block Rosary. Analyzing these actions, they were our work; they were our achievements.
In 1972 when I joined the Charismatic movement, there was a shift of focus. After being baptized in the Spirit, the persons loved the Eucharist and confession; they loved their priests and bishops; and they loved the Bible. At the gathering in the Prayer Meetings, the conversation was not on what I achieved, but on what God has done for me. Jn 15:26, “When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me. And you also testify….” After the baptism in the Spirit, people testified to the movements of God in their lives; they had eyes for the many little miracles God was performing in their daily lives. One day I was penniless so I walked home hungry, said one; then a friend came along and offered me suman and soft drink. Our tricycle swerved to avoid a rushing jeepney and it stopped just before we went into the canal, told another. Someone narrated, a charismatic healer came to our prayer meeting and prayed over many of us, and my blood sugar dropped to normal level. I was jobless for already three months, said another, when at the prayer meeting a member of the community told me he needed a painter for his construction team, and I was hired. People were testifying that God was alive in their lives and was performing the many little miracles for them, after they had received the Baptism in the Spirit.
I also witnessed a greater miracle. In some healing session, those who were healed were jubilant, and those who were not healed were submissive to the will of God. Those who prayed for financial blessing and received it were visibly happy and those who did not receive loudly testified saying “The Lord has better plan for me.” I could see an obvious shift of focus, not the “I”, but the “Lord.” Everyone was testifying to the Lord. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to give us this shift of focus in our thinking, that we also have this vision of faith to see his workings in our lives and be able to return all the glory to his name. Amen. -0-
Fr. Bert Decena, OAR