oday the Mother Church begins the Novena to the Holy Spirit in preparation for Pentecost Sunday (31st May), the day when the early Church experienced the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. On these 9 days of Novena, we are called to pray, reflect and meditate upon the 7 Gifts namely; Wisdom, Understanding, Courage, Counsel, Knowledge, Piety and Fear of the Lord (Is 11:2-3 / 1 Cor 12:8-10) and address the Fruits / Products of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22).
Why is this Novena important? The Holy Spirit (3rd distinct person in the Trinity), has been the engine or the power bank in the history of the Church, without which the Church led by human beings, could not have been here today. Thus, as the Church, we are to look back, take a stock of the mission given to us, discover once again the meaning of the mission, it’s calling to us today and to RECOMMIT ourselves to the Holy Spirit who leads us.
Just as Christ promised the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:15-17) and patiently they awaited, we too, we are called to wait in prayer and hope for the coming gift of the Father and the Son. He also promised them that, when this Spirit comes it will lead them (Jn 16:13). As Christians, we all need and desire to be lead by the Spirit. We long that the Spirit possess us and our world because we know that those lead by the Holy Spirit their actions and decisions are God’s Driven! Lk 2:27, Lk 4:1-12, Acts 20:20). Without the Holy Spirit, we falter (Rm 7:14-24, Ex 25:3, Job 15:5 & 20:2).
As we begin this Novena, let’s ask ourselves:
- Who is the Holy Spirit to me?
- What influence does the Holy Spirit have in my personal life and family?
- What special gift of the Holy Spirit have I received and use at the service of my community, workplace, at school at the Church without seeking anything in return (1 Cor. 12:8-10) [Matt 10:8].
During this time of Covid-19 (lockdown), may the Holy Spirit come and console all of us especially those infected and affected by the Coronavirus. May the Spirit of God come and give us hope. May the Spirit enlighten our doctors, scientists and leaders to do what is right to save His people. May we do what is right to be saved.
Fr Michael Nkosinathi, Vicar of Communications, Archdiocese of Johannesburg.