RIVERS OF LIVING WATER

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Jesus once said; ‘It is the spirit that  gives life; the flesh is useless’ (Jn 6:63).  On another occasion he added that ‘ out of the believer’s  heart shall flow rivers of living water’ (Jn 7:37). In  the  next sentence we read that  this statement was   about  the believers in Jesus  who were to receive the Holy Spirit (Jn 7:39). 

In Jesus, we saw the  Word of  God becoming  flesh.  It follows that the words that  Jesus speaks are indeed spirit and life (Jn 6:63). As we  know, God’s Spirit is  present  in the Word. In the sacraments also the Spirit is present. So  the works of the Spirit  should be visible in a person who has the Spirit. Stephen, the first martyr is  the best example. To be  able to stand  his ground before a mob  that was  approaching  him  with stones in their hands, Stephen  sought the help of  only one person, the  Holy Spirit. It is no easy thing to  gaze  into heaven in times of trial so as to  see the glory of  God with  Jesus by His side.

One who submits his life to the  Holy Spirit  will experience the  mysterious guidance of the Spirit in everything he does. The experience of Philip was no different. Once  his mission for the Ethiopian eunuch was completed, next we see Philip  being snatched away by  the Spirit of the Lord. Philip had to wait  until he reached the destination of Azotus to know  where he landed.

It is characteristic of the works of the Holy Spirit.  Because ‘the wind blows where it chooses’ (Jn 3:8). We may be able to hear its sound. But to know ‘where it comes from or where it goes’ is beyond our comprehension.  Jesus said this parable about those who are born of the Spirit.

We have received this  birth in Spirit at the  time of our  baptism. And with every sacrament  that we receive, this anointing should grow and start  yielding fruits. But  oftentimes we find that  the anointing that was revealed in Philip and Stephen are lacking  in our life. During times of trial, our conduct does not rise to the  level expected from a  Chhristian.  A life in spirit  remains a  distant dream  for many of us. The gifts and fruits of the Holy  Spirit are seldom visible in our actions.

A single word  answer will suffice for all these.  It is our  indifference towards  the call of  our  heavenly Father, who is ever ready to pour out His Spirit  upon His children. As we know  our relation with God  is best expressed in our prayers.  Do you remember the last time  when you prayed for the Holy Spirit? Or  among the  litany of  our daily petitions for material benefits, how much  importance is given  for  beseeching  this  precious  gift from God? If  our desire for getting anointing is strong enough, it is  a foregone conclusion that our  petition will be  answered from  heaven. This is not a hollow promise, but  the unchangeable  word  of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the  same, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. ‘If you then,  who are evil, know how to  give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit  to those who ask him!’ (Lk 11:13).

Let us wake up from the spiritual lethargy that has been  obstructing us from  earning this  precious anointing.  Let our prayer for the Holy Spirit occupy the first place whenever we communicate with our  Father. Is there a bigger tragedy than losing the anointing  of the Holy Spirit for the sole  reason that we did not care to pray for it?

The easiest way to  get anointing is to follow  those who already got it. God also wants us to follow what  the Blessed Virgin and Apostles did in those  days preceding the  first Pentecost; Constantly devote ourselves to prayer!

Let us pray. Come, Holy Spirit, come by means of  the powerful  intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well-beloved Spouse.

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