The Spirit of the Risen Lord changes everything

By Monsignor John Devine

We live in the age of the upgrade. How many megabits per second is your broadband? The guy in the next street has super-fast. Mobile phone rental due for renewal? Upgrade to the latest model with more pixels for its camera. A new car? Go for the model with built-in satnav, DAB radio and reversing sensors. We can even 'go large' at McDonald's for an extra 60p.

I am happy with what I have until I hear that someone else has better. I make the purchase of my dreams, only to find the worm of dissatisfaction eating away inside me. I am already yesterday's man. I love the story in the Acts of the Apostles about the disciples at Ephesus. "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?" asks Paul. "No, we were never even told there was such a thing as a Holy Spirit," they reply.

Assuming all along that John's baptism was top of the range, they are suddenly in need of an upgrade. John's baptism was 'only' a baptism of repentance. "When they heard this, they were baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus, and the moment Paul had laid hands on them the Holy Spirit came down on them, and they began to speak with tongues and to prophesy." They had been flying economy class and now found themselves upgraded to business, the best upgrade of all.

I ask myself how much I am aware of the Holy Spirit. For the most part my faith is a two-dimensional affair. I have heard of the Holy Spirit but I live as if there were no such thing. I put in the effort and hope to reap results. But the Spirit of the Risen Lord changes all that. The Spirit blows where it will and carries me along with it. Am I up for the ride?