"The Holy Spirit, Whom God has given to those who obey Him..." —Acts 5:32<br>"He does not ration His gift of the Spirit." —John 3:34
The above two statements seem somewhat contradictory. Scripture says God gives the Spirit to those who obey Him (Acts 5:32). The clear implication of Peter as he spoke these words to the disobedient Sanhedrin is that the Lord will not give the Holy Spirit to those who won't obey Him. Then the second Scripture quotation above says that God doesn't ration the Holy Spirit (Jn 3:34), but pours out the Spirit in unlimited measure.
In truth, God has lavished the Spirit "on all mankind" (Acts 2:17). Nevertheless, when we disobey God, we turn our backs on Him and His will. In our disobedience, we put a lid over the earthen vessel of our life (see 2 Cor 4:7) and refuse to receive His unrationed flow of the Spirit. We stifle the Spirit (1 Thes 5:19).
Sometimes our disobedience may not stem from outright rebellion, but simply weakness. We don't have a spiritual lid on our life; we receive the Holy Spirit, but we can't retain the Spirit. Our sins and weaknesses cause cracks in the vessels of our lives. We leak like broken cisterns (see Jer 2:13).
On the first Easter, Jesus breathed on His apostles and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit" (Jn 20:22). The Easter season is a time of pouring out the Spirit, so ask the Lord for the grace to repent of any disobedience and anything that might stifle or sadden the Spirit (1 Thes 5:19; Eph 4:30) in your life. Make an Easter Confession to repair the cracks in your life, and ask the Father to pour out His love in your heart through the Holy Spirit (Rm 5:5).
Prayer: Jesus, may my cracks be "sealed" by the Spirit (2 Cor 1:22) so I may stay filled with the Spirit (Acts 2:4).
Promise: "Whoever believes in the Son has life eternal." —Jn 3:36
Praise: St. Stanislaus was such an anointed pastor that his own bishop wanted to step down and appoint Stanislaus as bishop in his place, an offer which Stanislaus refused.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 2, 2012
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.