Our Rightful King
My Father in heaven placed my crown upon my head.
The Jewels in my crown are:
Diamonds, representing the indestructibility of my love for you.
Rubies representing my blood shed for you on my cross.
Emeralds, as clear as the waters of life, my Spirit has given you.
Pearls of wisdom I give you every morning if you listen for them.
Here is a beautiful prophetic word spoken out at one of the recent “Men’s Retreats.” This was one among many through which the Holy Spirit affirmed his presence among us in power, love and healing. Such a word, filling our hearts with deep gratitude to God for his gifts of love to us, flooding our minds and hearts with joyful songs of thanksgiving and praise, confirmed the Lord’s presence and love for us.
After such an inspired and inspiring Retreat, every one of us returned home, our faith strengthened, our spirit’s touched and healed, our place in the kingdom affirmed, our relationship with God, – “the pearl of great price” (cf. Matthew 13:45-46).
The presence of the Spirit on this retreat was very real. The Holy Spirit is a Person and I felt not only was I hearing Him in the Word but that I could reach out and touch Him. Often, the one I touched was my neighbour, “temple of the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:19), and whom I am called to “love in the Spirit” (1 John: 4:13).
When the Holy Spirit comes there is life and love in abundance. His presence brings profound consequences into our life. He is a comforting presence in times of sorrow, an enlightening presence in times of darkness, a joyful presence in times of sadness, a strengthening presence in times of loneliness, a healing, reconciling presence when we experience the woundedness of sin. We thirst intensely for this great Gift from heaven. Jesus cried out, “‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me. Let the one who believes in me drink. Out of the believers heart shall flow rivers of living water.’ He was speaking of the Spirit which those who believe in him would receive” (John 7:37-39).
My brothers in Christ, are you still rejoicing in the Spirit who was so gentle with us, and so generous in giving gifts in abundance to bless our lives during the time of retreat? Reflect back on your experiences in faith. Claim the blessings given to you. They are yours. The Spirit who touched us was promised by Jesus. “I am going to the Father” (John 14:12), said Jesus. “And I will ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate, the Spirit of truth, to be with you forever. You know him because he is with you, he is in you” (John 14:16-17). The impact of hearing these words again on the retreat is beyond description. The Lord wanted us to know that his Word is true. He had fulfilled his promise to us. The “Spirit of Truth’’ or the One promised on the Truth of my Word comes to you. He fulfils my Word to you.
The sure sign of the Spirits coming and presence among us was the unity of spirit among us and the deep spirit of praise and worship that flowed from our hearts. I wish every hungry heart could have been there for the retreat. There is a beautiful Scripture which says, “I will fill your mouth with honey from the rock” (Deuteronomy 32:13), “then you will find joy in your Lord, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land for I have fed you” (Isaiah 58:14). That was our experience. Great is the promise of the Lord! He rules over our hearts. He is King.
Finally, men, the Holy Spirit, as God’s gift to us, helps us to be our best self. We all yearn for better things. Once again in the Word of God we are given an extraordinary promise: “I will put my Spirit in you. I shall remove the heart of stone and give you a new heart” (Ezekiel 36:26). When Jesus came to his disciples burdened and heavy hearted, He simply said to them “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22). We know the rest of the story. We all stand in need of the constant blessing of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Let’s do what Jesus told us to do; “The heavenly Father gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13). “Since the Spirit is our life, let us be directed by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25). May the love and the peace the Spirit brings be in your hearts and homes and at the centre of your Christmas celebrations. Come Holy Spirit.
Fr Bruce CSsR.