Last week I reflected some on the theme of ENCOUNTER. Today, I’d like to reflect on EMPOWER.
When we gather around the Altar of the Word and Eucharist to ENCOUNTER Jesus, we are nourished by Him and we become EMPOWERED by Him and with Him! Imagine downing one a cup of coffee, soda, or one of those 5 hour energy drinks: the caffeine and sugar will get your motor runnin’! In the same way, kind of, when we consume Word and Eucharist, we are then EMPOWERED with and by Jesus! He gets our motors runnin’, he activates our “better angels”!
So, what does it mean to be EMPOWERED by Jesus and the Gospel? The way I see it, it allows us to do three things, and these can be found in Paul’s letters. I am EMPOWERED to:
1. Take up my Cross and to imitate Jesus in my way of life. (1 Cor 11:1)
2. Live peaceably with those around me. (Rom 12:18)
3. Abound in good works. (2 Cor 9:8)
We have a desire to know that the ENCOUNTER we have with Christ is EMPOWERING us to be Christ-like. The only we to know that we are EMPOWERED is to be aware of those times when I am called to be like Him. And the only way to aware is to pray daily and receive the Sacraments regularly. It’s kind of a cycle- a repeating dynamic of ENCOUNTERING and being EMPOWER by Him, in whom, “we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
And now we arrive at our place for prayer: a great place to learn about what it means to be EMPOWERED by the Spirit is to read the Acts of the Apostles. This is great place to read about the early Church, encouraged by ENCOUNTERS with the Resurrected Jesus who become EMPOWERED to preach the Gospel, live peaceably, and abound in good works. It’s a great read: if you take a chapter a day, you’ll read the book in 28 days!
So, let’s gather together at Mass to ENCOUNTER the Lord in the Word and Sacrament and let’s ask to be and feel EMPOWERED by the Spirit so that we might ENGAGE the world around us!