Paul traveled through the interior of the country
and down to Ephesus where he found some disciples.
He said to them,
“Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?”
They answered him,
“We have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
He said, “How were you baptized?”
They replied, “With the baptism of John.”
Paul then said, “John baptized with a baptism of repentance,
telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him,
that is, in Jesus.” (Acts 19:1-4)
Yesterday we celebrated the Feast of the Ascension. We were reminded that Jesus ascended to heaven to prepare a place for us.
As He was leaving, He promised His followers that He would send the Spirit to be with them, to lead them, to guide them, to give them courage.
And, He did.
We know that. We will celebrate it this coming Sunday at Pentecost.
In today’s first reading, we heard Paul ask a group of believers if they had received the Holy Spirit. The believers were dumbfounded. They did not know what Paul was talking about. Paul asked them in what baptism they were baptized. Their response was, “The baptism of John.”
Paul knew that the baptism of John was a baptism of repentance. Paul knew that they had to be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, as Jesus had instructed, so that the Holy Spirit could come fully into their lives.
Paul prayed over them and they received the Spirit.
It is that same Spirit that leads and guides us today, if only we abandon ourselves to the Spirit.
FAITH ACTION: As the Church awaits Pentecost, we realize that we already have the Spirit available to us in our daily lives. In prayer today, call upon the Holy Spirit. Ask the Spirit to give you the gifts that you need in order to better deal with the world.