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Full Text: Homily of the Prior General on the Opening of 11th OPC

Prior General Alejandro Moral Anton, OSA

Very Rev. Fr. Alejandro Moral Anton, OSA
February 19, 2024
Santo Niño Spirituality Center
Consolacion, Cebu, Philippines

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Where is the Holy Spirit? This is an important question to ask. We are celebrating this morning the opening Mass of our Ordinary Chapter. It is the Mass we call the Holy Spirit.

This title of “Mass of the Holy Spirit” gives us to understand that it is something very special, to the point that we can say that without the Holy Spirit our chapter would be meaningless.

However, in 90 percent of our meetings we act and live as if the Holy Spirit did not exist. We say in word that it is present but with our facts we say that it is not.

Today’s Word of God speaks to us of the Spirit and tells us that as believers

 “The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon us:
a spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
A spirit of counsel and of strength,
a spirit of knowledge and of fear (fiar) of the Lord,
and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord”.

We already possess the Holy Spirit, who dwells in our hearts for the love of God who has given us.

This Spirit, as Saint John tells us in the Gospel, is the Spirit who guides us until we know the full truth. This means that without Him we live in darkness and do not act as Sons of God. That is, this Spirit is a Spirit of wisdom and intelligence and is the only one who can guide us today, in our days, to know our mission in the world and how to live in communion and in community.

Something similar we have heard when reading the letter to the Romans, where it says: “In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought),

but the Spirit himself intercedes  with inexpressible groanings”.

The Spirit of the Lord comes to deliver us from our darkness and to enlighten us and give us light. A person who does not know how to listen to the voice of the Spirit or a community that lives without taking into account the voice of the Spirit, or a Province, or the Church, would drift (drift), without meaning, and their message would be empty.

In the Gospel we read: “Jesus stood up and exclaimed,

Let anyone who thirsts come to me and drink.
Whoever believes in me, as scripture says:
‘Rivers of living water will flow from within him.’”
He said this in reference to the Spirit
that those who came to believe in him were to receive.

This text is wonderful because the Lord invites us to go to Him, to come to Him when we are desperate, sick, sad, without hope… this means to be “thirsty”. The Lord will quench our thirst but through the Holy Spirit.

Many times we do not feel the Holy Spirit and feel orphaned but He dwells within us and is in us. It took Saint Augustine 30 years to discover who the Holy Spirit was, but when he met him, he loved him and lived on his love.

The Holy Spirit is the “immense love of God that  dwells in our hearts”. And it is faith that leads us to feel that presence. When we feel it we love it and when we love it we live only for it.

And what does the presence of the Holy Spirit mean in a community? It means that this community will live in the Love of the Holy Spirit and the love that is born of his presence, that is, of “charity”. No community can live and be fully realized if its members do not live and are united by the power of the love of the Holy Spirit.

In the same way no Province can survive with its charismatic sense, with its prophetic proclamation, if it is not able to discern reality, its own life, and to write its objectives from a strong discernment (discernment) guided by the Holy Spirit.

This is what we have to do during these days of the Chapter, so let us say to the Lord: “LORD, SEND OUT YOUR SPIRIT, AND RENEW THE FACE OF OUR PROVINCE”. AMEN!

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