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Jesus Is Lord: Holy Spirit – Going from the Seat to the Feet {Week Five}

HOLYSPIRITchrist-king3Welcome to the Jesus Is Lord series! This is the fifth installment of the Jesus Is Lord course offered for adults at St. William Catholic Church in Round Rock, Texas.

If this is your first time visiting this series, I encourage you to take a few moments and read through the series introduction that will give a clear picture of the purpose and content of the Jesus Is Lord course. The introduction post not only outlines the course, but goes over the motivation to share in this class on the internet. 

Today’s class is about Holy Spirit: Going from the Seat to the Feet. Last week’s class was about Repentance – Recognize and ReceiveIf you would prefer to watch this class, please scroll to the bottom. Keep in mind the recorded classes are not from our current class and contain testimonies from different people presented in the text below. Check back next week for the Prayer Session that took place in the church followed by the sixth installment which will cover Jesus is Lord of my Talent. 

TEACHING

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Before the class starts, Noe recaps what was discussed in a previous class. Surrender must be done with love. The focus of the class will be on the “recognize” portion. We want to know what surrender looks like in practical terms.

 

Father Uche:

Last week we had penance service.

How was that?

The AFF team, Father Uche and Noe were happy they were able to offer the service with 10 priests from visiting parishes coming to hear confessions. Father Uche was glad it had such a good response. It’s meant to continue, he said. It’s meant to be an ongoing process. The Church recommends that we go to confession every month. Try to go every month. It means more hours for Father Uche, but he doesn’t mind because it draws you closer to Jesus.

Today, we’ll talk about something that’s very important. We’re on a journey of making Jesus the Lord of our lives, but first, we’re going to need the ABC’s.

Analogy. Just as major league baseball has farm leagues and soccer has different tiers such as division one or premiere, so the Church, too, has layers – top layers, intermediate, and those who are…way down there.

Let’s see how this shapes up.

There are three types of Catholics.

 

TYPE C

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C doesn’t stand for Catholic! A “type C” Catholic has circles inside, which represent different aspects of their lives – children, finances, t.v., grocery shopping, internet, health, cell phone, transportation, etc. 

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Then you have a throne. The throne is important, because whoever sits on the throne controls all the circles. The person sitting on the throne helps prioritize and order things.

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“ME” – I sit on the throne. I call the shots.

I determine how much time I give to all the aspects of my life.

So, where is God in all of this?

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The “cross” represents God. He is not completely out, but He is not completely in.

A Type C Catholic views the internet, cell phone, video games, etc. as in his life completely,

but God did not succeed in getting in.

Generally speaking, type C Catholics are good people.

They probably come to church on Christmas and Easter.

They might even help at the fall festival. Or not…they are too busy with other things.

They might attend church for a funeral or wedding.

They are part of the hatch, match, and dispatch program.

Hatch – baptism, match – marriage, dispatch – funeral.

 But, even at this level – you’d better not speak poorly of the Church to a

Type C Catholic because you will hear from them!!

 

TYPE B

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Type B has the same things in their lives – family, friends, entertainment, work, health, leisure, etc.

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We can see the throne still shows ME in control.

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The difference is that God is inside the circle.

God has the same level of importance as family, friend, travel, health.

They are likely to miss Mass on Sundays when they travel because

it is seen as no more important than any other circle.

Again, a Type B is generally a good person.

They come to Mass more often than Type C, possibly every Sunday.

They might attend the fall festival or even volunteer to help.

They are involved in their faith, but who is still on the throne?

They are. They control everything.

 

It is scary to think that somebody else would be

sitting on the throne, the driver’s seat.

We want that control.

But, we will see there is a different type of Catholic who is going to challenge us.

 

TYPE A

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Just like Type B and C, they have a life – they have circles.

But the throne?

It comes first.

And who is on the throne?

Jesus. Jesus is the Lord of their life.

Life, throne, Jesus, and then everything else follows.

Where is ME?

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ME has become the “sous chef” to Jesus. ME is on the footstool.

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Now we see the order of the circles in their lives.

They have school, family, work, health issues, entertainment, cell phone, internet…

but the arrangement of those are centered, ordered, organized.

It’s not the same thing as Type A Catholic being a “type A” personality!

 

When we follow the order of life, we are happy, we are comfortable.

But when we don’t follow that order, our lives are out of order.

This order does NOT come easy.

Type A Catholics are used to having Jesus in control of their lives

because they have a life of prayer, they have a life of abandonment to Jesus.

Each and every one of us wants to be a Type A Catholic, yes?

Ok, no pressure. Raise your hand if you’d like to be a Type A Catholic?

How do you make the transition, though?

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Movement from type C/B to a Type A – you have to VACATE the throne.

Look, you have been in charge all this time and how well has that gone?

Let’s try something new, ok?

 God has to lead the periphery of your life.

Make sure He is not just one of the other things in your life,

on the same level as the internet and t.v., for example.

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We have to bring someone to occupy the throne of your life, and so Jesus takes over.

And you sit at the feet of Jesus.

Think of the story of Mary and Martha. Mary just sat at the feet of Jesus.

And Jesus recognized that Mary had picked the better part.

We need to be encouraged to move from Type B/C to being Type A Catholics.

It involves a lot of work and there is some fear in letting go, but there is an order in the universe.

God made this universe in such a way that there is just enough oxygen for us,

we are situated at just the right distance from the sun – neither too hot nor too cold.

If we follow the order of God’s creation, we are happy.

Your body has a design, there is a master plan for it, for your life.

If you go on living your life away from the master plan, you will never be happy.

Do you want to be happy?

And how much happiness do you want?

Order in the soul – that’s where the body takes orders from the soul and not the other way around.

SCRIPTURE

How do we make Jesus the Lord of our life?

What does that look like?

We will unpack that over the next seven weeks.

First we want to want to learn and understand how to make Him the Lord of our life.

Holy Spirit

1 – Jesus promised the Holy Spirit

In John 14:15-21, we see the promise of the Holy Spirit.

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always,

the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you.

I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live.

On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you.

Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”

We see what comes out of love and willingness to surrender – Jesus is speaking to Type A’s here. He is talking to disciples who were all Type A’s. The Helper/Advocate would be there to help them be a Type A. The Advocate will stay with you forever. When Jesus was around and the disciples were around him all day, it was easy for them to make Jesus their Lord. When they went to bed, He was right there, when they woke up, Jesus was there – during the day, they saw Him healing.

It was easier to be good if you were a disciple.

This Helper, the Spirit, is the One who helps this weak, broken, fragile person, to become a Type A. Your job is to turn it over to Jesus. Anyone or anything that doesn’t let Jesus guide them is “the world.” You don’t need Jesus if you want to remain on the throne…to mess up your life – in fact, you have probably done that really well all by yourself!

It’s important that we shoot for being a Type A Catholic; then the Holy Spirit has something to work with and something to do.

2 – Jesus sent the Holy Spirit

In Acts 1:1-2

In the first book, Theophilus, I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught

until the day he was taken up, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen.

The instructions can be found at the end of Mark 16, Matthew 28, Luke 24.

When Jesus explained this to the disciples, it left them confused. He just told the them to go and make disciples of all nations, but says for them not to go anywhere for 40 days.

EXAMPLE. Noe speaks of Father Uche asking the entire St. William staff to get together to work on a community garden, gets everyone excited to work on the project, but then says don’t leave the parish hall and to wait.

What is Jesus really saying? He is saying you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. You will be equipped. Just like Father Uche wants the group to stay in the parish hall, it’s because he wants the custodian to bring the gardening tools needed to get the job done. Jesus is saying don’t leave Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit descends upon the disciples. So, they waited for 4o days. And then they prayed the very first novena. And on the 10th day, the Holy Spirit descended and transformed their lives. Next, we’ll see how they were filled with the Holy Spirit.

3 – When the Holy Spirit comes, it has an effect on people 

Acts 2

When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together.

The promise is fulfilled.

icc_pentecost Acts14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and proclaimed to them,

“You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem. Let this be known to you, and listen to my words. 

We can easily recall who Peter was just 50 days before when Jesus was crucified. Peter thought he was helping when he lopped off the soldier’s ear – but when Jesus was arrested, Peter denied Him.

 v.23 This man, delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God, you killed, using lawless men to crucify him.

v. 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and they asked Peter and the other apostles, “What are we to do, my brothers?”

Peter spoke from the heart with the power of the Holy Spirit. The others were deeply troubled. They were cut to the heart.

Repent and be baptized…

v. 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand persons were added that day.

And the Catholic Church started with 3, 121 Type A’s, amen?

We can’t make Jesus the Lord of our life unless we receive the Holy Spirit.

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v.44 – While Peter was still speaking these things, the holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the word. 

The Holy Spirit fell upon those who were listening, the Gentiles.

You can tell when someone has the Holy Spirit. That’s what it’s going to do to us. People are going to ask you what’s different.

Acts18:24

A Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, an eloquent speaker, arrived in Ephesus. He was an authority on the scriptures.

Apollos only had the baptism of John, the receiving. He didn’t yet recognize. Priscilla and Aquilla explained the Way of God more accurately so that Apollos could learn the full Gospel. He then went on to Corinth.

Acts 19

Paul arrived in Ephesus. He found some disciples that Apollos – asked if they became believers of Jesus, which was a loaded question. He wasn’t really asking, he knew they hadn’t yet received the Holy Spirit. The answered that they had not heard of a Holy Spirit!

EXAMPLE. When asked Where is the Holy Spirit? Noe would respond “somewhere around here” indicating one motion from one shoulder to the next {sign of the cross}. Noe knew a bunch of rules and regulations, but there was a time when he didn’t know he needed to surrender his life. The believers, like Noe, were good Christians, but they didn’t know the Holy Spirit.

That message is for all of us who want Jesus to be the Lord of our life.

STORY. 1976 – Farr, TX – Father O’Malley built St. Ann’s from scratch. He was getting depressed and frustrated because he wasn’t seeing people’s lives changed. They would attend Mass, but he wasn’t seeing them live the Faith through the week. He heard about another parish that had 400 people attending on Wednesday evenings. He decided to attend “incognito” and  heard about the Kerygma from lay people and attended the prayer session. This was five weeks before Noe showed up.

That’s the beginning of the story of how Noe’s life was transformed.

STORY. A bishop, then priest, from Mexico in 1978 gave a talk at a conference of ten thousand Type A Catholics. He was the main speaker. Noe was working full time on faith, no pay. H picked up the priest and took him everywhere while he was in town. He took him straight to the conference and heard him talk…it blew Noe away.

One day during his stay, Noe asked Father whether he wanted fast food or a sit down breakfast. Father wanted Mexican food, so they sat down. The entire breakfast was silence until they were almost done. Father said in Spanish

thanks be to God for stubborn old women!!

He went on to say two years prior to, he was a happy parish priest. He had a good parish and didn’t work that hard. He had been a priest long enough that he had homilies already done for a three year cycle. One Sunday after Mass, he says he went through the rectory and was going to watch t.v. and relax. This little old lady jumps out of the bush and grabs his hands and kissed them and said “Father, you need the Holy Spirit.” The next Sunday, the same bush, and the lady jumped out again “Father, you REALLY need the Holy Spirit!!!” The next Sunday…this time he was prepared. Sure enough, the same lady jumps out from the same bush.

YOU REALLY REALLY NEED THE HOLY SPIRIT!!

He snapped back at her

“I’ve got more Holy Spirit than you do because I have the sacrament of ordination!”

“Yes, she said, you have a lot of Holy Spirit, but you can’t see it!”

He said he couldn’t’ sleep. The next day he had a meeting at the chancery. They were sending him on a FIVE day retreat on the Holy Spirit. They said he had to go. By the 4th day they prayed over him that he would be filled with the Holy Spirit. He didn’t feel a thing, but a couple of the priests said they did. A couple of days later, he pulls out his canned sermon during the homily and instead goes to the readings. He strayed from his canned homily and could hear the Holy Spirit…he heard sobs from the people in the congregation. His once lame blessings were turned into heart-felt praying over people.

What the Holy Spirit did for all these people lives – He wants to do to each one of YOU.

He wants to show you how to live for and be used by Jesus.

Stirring of the Holy Spirit

STORY. Noe went to a retreat. One guy led everyone in song with his guitar. The speaker before lunch was the bishop. Noe raised his hand and asked the bishop,

I know that in Baptism as Catholics, we receive all the gifts, the ministries and fruits of the Holy Spirit in the sacrament of Baptism.

How come as a baptized person, I needed to receive prayer in order to receive the Holy Spirit.

Bishop decided to answer after lunch. They came back from lunch and the guy leading the song sang a song, then he said a prayer…then he sang another song, and said another prayer.

Finally he said he didn’t know what happened to the bishop when he heard  a voice from the kitchen that said

“I’m coming!!!”

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Noe gives an example of how the Holy Spirit works in us by showing the group two glasses of cold milk. They both look the same, but one doesn’t have the Holy Spirit. It’s just a plain glass of milk.

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But this glass of milk has the Holy Spirit. It is the chocolate syrup.

It still looks like the other glass of milk, though, because the Holy Spirit hasn’t been given any work to do yet.

Let’s see what happens when we ask Jesus to allow the Holy Spirit to fill us.

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Let Jesus be the spoon to stir the Holy Spirit – we’re no longer milk, but chocolate milk.

Jesus stirs us to a better life.

Next week, we will meet in the main church for a prayer session  in which Noe and Fr. Uche will pray over everyone. We will make a renewal of our baptism promise and this time we will make it our own. Next prayer of commitment – Jesus I love you and I want to give my life to you.

The AFF team, Father Uche and Noe will agree with your prayer as it is found in Matthew 18:19  Again, (amen,) I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father.

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION

  • PRAYER
  • QUESTIONS
    1. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE DAY OF THE HOMEWORK? {read and share why}
    2. ANY COMMENTS ON PRAYING FOR YOUR PARTNER?
    3. WHAT STRUCK YOU ABOUT THE PRESENTATION?
  • HOMEWORK 

DAY 1: Throughout the ages, prophets predicted that the day would come when God would give His Spirit freely to men. Those who turned to Him and received His Spirit would be changed. They would be new men with a new life.

“The Lord God says this. I shall pour clean water over you and you will be cleansed. I shall give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you; I shall remove the heart of stone from your bodies and give you a heart of flesh instead. I shall put my spirit in you. You shall be my people and I will be your God.'” Ezek 36:22-28

DAY 2: Jesus promised before He died that He would give His followers the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will live in you and give you a new life. The promise of Jesus is for everyone. Jesus says:

“If you love me, you will obey my commandments. I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, who will stay with you forever. He is the Spirit, who reveals the truth about God. The world cannot receive him, because it cannot see him or know him. But you know him, because he remains with you and is in you…you will not be left all alone…” John 14:15-18

DAY 3: On the day of Pentecost, Jesus’ disciples were gathered together in one room in prayer, and the Holy Spirit which Jesus promised came on them. From that moment on, they were changed men.

“When the day of Pentecost came,…They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.” Acts 21a&4

DAY 4: You can experience the Holy Spirit the same way the first disciples did. Whether you have been a Christian for a while or have never believed in Christ before, you can receive whatever is missing in your experience of the life of the Spirit. What happened to the disciples at Ephesus can happen to you.

“When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Paul placed his hands on them, and the Holy Spirit came upon them; they spoke in strange tongues and also proclaimed God’s message. They were about twelve men in all.” Acts 19:5-7

DAY 5: When the Holy Spirit is released in you, you will begin to experience a new kind of life. You will know God in a new way. That new life will grow in you until you become a changed person. St. Paul describes the result by saying:

“But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control.” Gal 5:22-23a

DAY 6: As you grow in faith in the Holy Spirit in you, you will begin to experience him working in you in new ways so that you can serve others. He will help you overcome your weakness and pride by empowering you to be able to witness for Jesus to others. Jesus promised:

“But when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power, and you will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

DAY 7: God gives the Holy Spirit so that we can be joined to the body of Christ {the Church, the faith community}. The new life in the Spirit will allow you to be more closely united with other Catholics in your parish and to experience a communion with them in the Spirit. God’s word teaches:

“So then, you Gentiles are not foreigners or strangers any longer; you are now citizens together with God’s people and members of the Family of God. You, too, are built upon the foundation laid by the apostles and prophets, the cornerstone being Christ Jesus Himself. He is the one who holds the whole building together and makes it grow into a sacred temple dedicated to the Lord. In union with Him, you too are being built together with all the others into a place where God lives through His Spirit.” Ephesians 2:19-22

  • STUDY:  Read Acts 10 & Acts 18:24 and 19:7

SUMMARY

Homework is to be done daily – reflect on Scripture and Holy Spirit: Going from the Seat to the Feet through the week. If you are in a group, pair up two or three and commit to pray daily for your prayer partner. Small groups come together for a few minutes of question and answer in the large group. If you have any questions, please leave a comment in the combox below so that we can help in any way possible.

CONCLUSION

Prayer of Abandonment

Father,
I abandon myself into Your hands;
do with me what You will.
Whatever You may do, I thank You:
I am ready for all, I accept all.

Let only Your will be done in me,
and in all Your creatures –
I wish no more than this, O Lord.

Into Your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to You with all the love of my heart,
for I love You, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into Your hands without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for You are my Father.

Charles de Foucauld

OPTIONS: If you would like to watch, please visit the St. William Adult Faith Formation page to watch the previously recorded class.

 

 

About Martina Kreitzer

Martina is a cradle Catholic, wife to Neil, and mother to seven kiddos here {and three in heaven}– 4/96-1/17. She decided to homeschool the kiddos in 2010 after many years in public schools. She is the creator of Catholic Sistas which focuses on a feminine perspective of the Catholic Faith. The website was the result of an existing camaraderie by the contributors in a Catholic women’s group she created. She is also a Seal of Approval evaluator for the Catholic Writers Guild. Lest you think she spends all her time online, Martina has enjoyed getting out into the community by serving on the Pastoral Council from 2010-2013. She is constantly on the lookout to make her parish as welcoming as the small town she grew up in East Texas. This task is not easy given that St. William is the largest parish in the Austin diocese, serving well over twenty thousand parishioners. She loves Jesus, coffee, bacon, chocolate, photography, more bacon, evangelizing, and the company of those unafraid to use their sense of humor.