Faith & Life


By DANIELLE TAYABAS     4/23/2024

The Lenten season of penance, sacrifice and detachment from the things that enslave us has come to completion.

We are now halfway through the Easter season in which we celebrate Jesus’ Resurrection.

This is a time to rejoice in Jesus’ victory over sin and death. We are assured to “be not afraid” (Matt 28:1-10) and receive the peace that Jesus offers in His Easter appearances.

With Pentecost approaching and trusting in Jesus’ promise to send the Holy Spirit, let us examine ourselves and take a good look at where we are spiritually. We want to continue to receive the peace of Christ. His peace brings forth the inner freedom needed and prepares us to receive the Holy Spirit at Pentecost

This enables us to be empowered by the Holy Spirit and propels us into the world as “ambassadors for Christ” (2Cor 5:20); going forth as “witnesses” of Christ (Acts 2:32).

As missionary disciples burning with love and zeal for God, we can use the gifts of the Holy Spirit to evangelize, convert and reconcile the hearts of sinners to God! (2 Cor 5:11-21)

In order to be effective witnesses of the Resurrection, we must deepen our relationship with the Lord daily through trust in His mercy and receiving His love. Here are some questions we can ask ourselves and take to the Lord in prayer:

Am I basking in the joy of the Resurrection and enjoying the fruits of holy detachment and inner freedom?

Have I relapsed into sin, bad habits and unholy attachments to creatures and to things?

Am I desensitized to sin without even knowing it?

Let us reflect on Ezekiel’s vision (Ez 37:1-14) which is filled with hope and God’s fervent love for sinners in need of new life. This scripture passage encompasses the Easter season that we are in because we have been purified during Lent. The Lenten dry bones are the parts of us that are dead because of sin and in need of redemption.

The dry bones came to life when Ezekiel prophesied the Word of God to them. Tendons appeared, flesh grew and skin covered the bones yet they were without breath. God commanded him to prophesy to the breath, and breath entered them, yet they were without hope. So, God commanded Ezekiel to prophesy that He was going to open their graves and put His Spirit in them and settle them in their land. The raising of life from dry bones is a figurative description of God’s creation of the new Israel, a people that would be faithful to His covenant.

This raising to life is reminiscent of the Resurrection of Christ and the transforming power of the Holy Eucharist. At the Mass we participate in the New Covenant as the children of God and receive Jesus’ Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in Holy Communion.

His Flesh and Blood transforms us from within and can conform us into Him. Jesus’ Precious Blood is flowing through our body healing us. His Sacred Heart is consuming our “stoney hearts” and transforming them into His very own Heart, sanctifying us and giving us “natural hearts.”

There is a similarity to the events of Pentecost in the faith and obedience of Ezekiel who did as God instructed. The Apostles in the upper room were “filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:4) and went forth in faith to share the Good News.

Today we are in need of holy witnesses to bring about the New Springtime of Love and a New Pentecost of Mercy.

With ongoing conversion, religious formation and a loving relationship with God, we can courageously go forth with the Holy Spirit to help others come to life in Christ.

As we anticipate the coming of Pentecost, let us pray and ask God for “a new heart and a new spirit” (Ez 36:26-28) so that we can proclaim Jesus’ mercy and eternal salvation to the world.