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Every Sunday, a tribal resident from the mountains used to come down to the market place along with two dogs – a white dog and a black dog. He had trained the dogs to fight on command. Every Sunday afternoon there was a to be a dogfight in which the people in the marketplace used to take bets. One Sunday the black dog won; another Sunday, the white dog won – whichever dog won,
invariably the tribal resident always won. His friends asked him what the secret of his winning was. He responded, “I starve one and feed the other. The one I feed always wins because he is stronger.”

We have two natures within us, always fighting for mastery – the flesh and the spirit or the sinful and the Christ-filled nature. The one we feed the most wins in the end. If we feed our
spiritual nature and allow the Holy Spirit to empower us, the Spirit rules over us. But if we feed our sinful nature, the flesh will rule. We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Our lives need to be dominated and ruled by the Holy Spirit. St. Paul tells us, “Do not get drunk with wine, but be filled with the spirit.” (Eph. 5:18).

The early Christians in the Acts of the Apostles were all filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. In fact, in the Acts of the Apostles (17:6), it was said of the Christians of one city, “These men who had turned the world upside down, have come here also.” We too, can turn the world upside down if we are filled with the Holy Spirit. But how can we be filled with the Holy Spirit? There are three (3) steps:

The first step, is UNDERSTANDING….there are certain truths we must know and understand about the Holy Spirit. God has already given us the Holy Spirit and that very Spirit dwells within us. When we are baptized we receive the Holy Spirit. What we receive later is a re-filling of the Holy Spirit. Another truth we need to understand is that it is God’s will that we should be filled with the Holy Spirit.

The Second step, is SUBMISSION…. Submission means to renounce our will and our way and submit ourselves to Jesus, and allow Jesus to rule every facet of our lives. It is all about renouncing our will and embracing the will and the way of Christ. We are called to confess our sins, which means becoming aware of them and confessing them to God. If we do so God has promised to forgive us, and once we do, we are invited to place our needs in the hands of God.

The third and final step is TO WALK IN FAITH…Now we are to act or walk in that truth with the fullest assurance that God has already filled us with the spirit. We have to act in our lives as people filled with the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.

This week, my prayer for all of you and your families is that the Holy Spirit may once again enkindle with each of us the fire of God’s love, so that strengthened by that same Spirit, we may renew the face of our parish and the earth…..+JMJ………………………………………………………………………..Fr. Bob



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