[COLUMN] The power and gifts of the Holy Spirit

ON Pentecost Sunday, we commemorate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles, empowering them with bold faith and igniting them with passion, eagerness, courage, and determination to spread the message of Jesus Christ, who resurrected and ascended to sit at the right hand of His Father in heaven. This significant event is recognized by the Church as the birth of the Christian Church.

In contemplating the lessons of Pentecost in the context of the contemporary world and the Church today, several important messages and insights emerge.

Firstly, there is a crucial need for us to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, especially among leaders of nations and churches globally. Merely relying on human wisdom and instincts falls short; we must seek the Holy Spirit to inspire and guide leaders,   fostering peace through collaboration and humility. Additionally, it is essential for religious leaders to unite in a shared commitment to peace and justice, particularly concerning the marginalized and vulnerable in society.

Secondly, fostering open dialogue and actively listening to one another is increasingly vital. It is imperative for us to appreciate each other’s diverse cultures, virtues, and perspectives. By recognizing the beauty within every individual and culture, we can cultivate an appreciation for the inherent goodness in all people. Traveling to different countries, where feasible, can greatly contribute to broadening our minds and nurturing a spirit of altruism.

Thirdly, the practice of discernment is paramount in every decision-making process, whether on a personal, familial, communal, ecclesiastical, or national level. Genuine discernment involves seeking the wisdom of the Holy Spirit through prayer and engaging in thoughtful consultations with individuals and leaders to formulate just and compassionate solutions for preserving and protecting lives. We must resist being solely guided by human desires and instincts, which are susceptible to external influences such as media, trends, and false ideologies. By seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can navigate our choices with clarity and righteousness.

Lastly, in a world facing mounting challenges in mental health, promoting access to professional psychologists and mental health coaches through easily accessible platforms is vital. Recognizing that God can work through these channels to heal individuals emotionally and mentally underscores the importance of endorsing such resources. While acknowledging the value of prayer in addressing mental health concerns, including devotions, sacraments, and charismatic prayer gatherings,      integrating psychological support into healing practices is essential for comprehensive care.

On this Pentecost Sunday, let us be driven by a fervor to propagate the Gospel, embody Christ’s love, and embrace the transformative power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. May the Holy Spirit enable us to embrace the diversity of gifts present in individuals from varied cultures, fostering mutual understanding and appreciation. Furthermore, may we discern the diverse methods through which God brings healing to our world and its inhabitants. Above all, may the Holy Spirit work through our world leaders to cultivate peace within our shared home..

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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.

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Fr. Rodel “Odey” Balagtas is the pastor of Incarnation Church in Glendale, California.


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