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Rekindle the Gift We Have Received - Weekday Homily Video

Rekindle the Gift We Have Received - Weekday Homily Video

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This week, the Church gave us the opportunity to reflect on the lives of different holy men and women. We had the memorial of St. Vincent, Deacon and Martyr; we celebrated St. Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church; we celebrated the Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle; and today is the Memorial of Sts. Timothy and Titus, close collaborators in mission with St. Paul the Apostle.



In the First Reading, St. Paul is writing to St. Timothy, who he addresses as his spiritual son and to whom he offers fatherly spiritual advice. The words that jump out at me personally are the words, “Rekindle the gift of God that is within you,” a gift that you received “through the laying on of my hands.” St. Paul adds that, “God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control. Do not be afraid of testifying to our Lord … take your share of suffering for the Gospel in the power of God.”

These words of St. Paul to St. Timothy, and by extension to all of us who are baptized and who are confirmed in our faith by the laying on of hands, are words that we need to carefully listen to, words that we need to carefully ponder. What does St. Paul mean when he says we need to “rekindle the gift we have received?” What is that “gift” we have received through the laying on of hands? Why do we need to “rekindle” it, especially now?


The Gift of the Holy Spirit


The gift St. Paul speaks about is the gift of the Holy Spirit that we receive through the Sacrament of Confirmation. In Confirmation, we receive the Holy Spirit with all His seven gifts. It is the same Spirit that the apostles received in the upper room on Pentecost. Yet, when we compare who they became after receiving the Holy Spirit, and what they did to set the world on fire with the gospel message, when you compare it with us, who we have become after confirmation, what we have done for the sake of the gospel, and what our world and sometimes even our own Church is becoming, you see the relevance of St. Paul’s messages for our contemporary times.

The growing disaffiliation from the Church, the closing of churches, the low church attendance and participation—these signs challenge us to “rekindle” the gift of the Holy Spirit within each one of us for the sake of the gospel. Given what is going on in our world, we are invited to renew our missionary impulse, be on fire WITH Christ, be on fire FOR Christ and share Him with others in ways each one of us can afford.


The Virtue of Fortitude


Our times, too, call us to renew the gift of courage or fortitude—“for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love.” There are several issues in our radically secularized society on which we cannot sit on the fence, rather we need to have the backbone to bear witness to Christ and be willing to “take our share of suffering for the Gospel.”

Today is a good day for us to ask ourselves: When is the last time I went on a retreat or participated in a faith formation program, to renew the gift of God within me? Today is a good day to ask ourselves: How can I give better and courageous witness to Christ?

May we ask the Lord to renew us, to rekindle the spirit within us, so that our lives may reflect the faith of our ancestors such as St. Timothy, St. Titus, St. Paul, and the seventy-two whom Jesus sent out.

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About Father Fred Jenga, C.S.C.

Father Fred Jenga, C.S.C. is the President of Holy Cross Family Ministries. Father Fred, a native of Uganda, has multiple degrees including theology, philosophy, and communications. His native language is Lusoga and he speaks English, Luganda, Kiswahili, and Rutooro. He has been a teacher, researcher, author and family minister. Father Fred is committed to helping build God’s masterpiece one family at a time.