Travel back with me to the first Pentecost and join the apostles, staying behind secured doors and trying to get their heads around all that had happened in recent days.
Their Lord Jesus had been crucified and they had seen Him risen from the dead. He had ascended to heaven and left them the command to organize and begin a Church.
No pressure, right?
The group was unsettled, uncertain and fearful. There was plenty to be unsure about.
But then it happened. The Holy Spirit descended upon each of these men, becoming a part of who they were at the core, and suddenly they were on fire! They burst out into the crowd and evangelized like they’d been doing it forever. Acts 2 tells us an astounding 3,000 people accepted Christ that day.
Can you imagine the energy the apostles must have felt through the Spirit? They now realized there was only one correct path for them to walk, and they could wait no longer to walk it, even if it meant loss of friendship, status, reputation, even loss of life.
The risk for trouble was still there, but it no longer mattered. Serving Jesus Christ was the only thing that mattered.
Right now, some of us are thinking, “I could never be like the apostles and go and talk about my faith. I’m not smart enough or strong enough, or I can’t talk well enough. I can’t change the world.”
That, my friends, is a bunch of bull. You are listening to the devil if you believe that. The very same Holy Spirit that turned that ragged bunch of followers into world-changers 2000 years ago sits within each and every one of us.
Oh, we try and shut the Spirit up, denying its existence. We keep ourselves busy every minute of the day so that we will remain distracted and not hear the Spirit’s voice inside us. But it doesn’t work. The Spirit is a part of us, driving us toward whatever work is meant for us to do for the glorification of God.
Yes, we can change the world. But it will not happen if we continue to practice our faith and listen to God only when convenient, fearful that He wants us to do something inconvenient and difficult. Maybe He does, but the job wouldn’t be yours unless God chose you for it and will give you what is needed to see it done.
We did not choose Him; He chose us, to mold us and form us for service. God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called, and will calm our fear of the unknown.
Let this be the day when we let go and let the Spirit lead, and we change the world. It can be done — we just have to believe it.
Michael Clapp is a deacon at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Mayfield.