Easter: Monday of the Seventh Week

“He said to them, “Did you receive the holy Spirit when you became believers?” They answered him, “We have never even heard that there is a holy Spirit.”” (Acts of the Apostles 19:2)

In commenting on these verses from today’s First Reading, Saint John Chrysostom writes:

“And [Paul] does not ask them, “Do you believe in Jesus?” but “Did you receive the Holy Spirit?” For he knew that they had not. And he wished them to acknowledge this, so that they might learn what they lacked and ask for it. “And when Paul had laid his hands upon them,” it says, “the Holy Spirit came on them; and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.” The baptism itself led to their giving prophecies. John’s baptism did not have this effect and was therefore incomplete. Rather, it prepared them beforehand so that they would be deemed worthy of such things. So this was the intent of John’s baptism, that they should believe in the one who was to come after him. Here is shown an important doctrine, that the baptized are completely cleansed of their sins. For if they were not cleansed, they could not have received the Spirit and be immediately deemed worthy of such gifts. And look, the gift was twofold: tongues and the ability to prophesy. Paul spoke well when he said John’s baptism was of repentance and not of forgiveness. He led them forward, persuading them that John’s baptism lacked the latter. For forgiveness was the work of the one who was given afterwards. And how is it that they who received the Spirit did not teach, but Apollos did when he had not yet received the Spirit? Because they were not so fervent or even so instructed. He, on the other hand, was instructed and very fervent. It seems to me that great was the man’s boldness. But even if he taught the things concerning Jesus accurately, [Apollos] still needed more accurate teaching. So, though he did not know everything, by his enthusiasm he drew to himself the Holy Spirit, as did Cornelius and his companions.” (Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles, 40)

May the power of the Holy Spirit
come to us, we pray, O Lord,
that we may keep your will faithfully in mind
and express it in a devout way of life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Lord is risen. Alleluia!
He is risen, indeed. Alleluia!

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen