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City Set on a Hill. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 6:14. Pentecost. Acts 2: 1 -11 “… And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit”

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city set on a hill

City Set on a Hill

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 6:14

  • Acts 2: 1 -11
    • “… And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit”
    • Historically the 50th day of Passover – “On the day of Pentecost when the seven weeks of Easter had come to an end, Christ’s Passover is fulfilled in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit…”
    • Feast of the Harvest
    • The Church was made manifest to the world on the day of Pentecost by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. CCC 1076
  • “From the very day of Pentecost the Church has celebrated holy Baptism. Indeed St. Peter declares to the crowd astounded by his preaching: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you… and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” CCC 1226
  • “The fruit of Baptism is a rich reality that includes forgiveness of original son and all personal sins, birth into the new life by which man becomes an adoptive son of the Father, a member of Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit.” CCC 1279
  • “The two principal effects are purification from sins and new birth in the Holy Spirit.” CCC 1262
  • “For by the sacrament of Confirmation, the baptized are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed.” CCC 1287
  • “He was conceived of the Holy Spirit; his whole life and his whole mission are carried out in total communion with the Holy Spirit whom the Father gives him “without measure.’” CCC 1286
  • “This fullness of the Spirit was not to remain uniquely the Messiah’s, but was to be communicated to the whole messianic people.” CCC 1287
  • “It is evident from its celebration that the effect of the sacrament is the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit as once granted to the apostles at Pentecost.” CCC 1302
acts 1 8
Acts 1:8
  • “The Holy Spirit comes, you will receive power and you will be my witnesses.”
  • BOOM.
  • The source of our courage is the Holy Spirit... The source of our witness is the Holy Spirit. He comes to remind us of our heritage and our destiny as adopted daughters and sons of God.
pope paul vi
Pope Paul VI
  • Wrote the great work on evangelization called EvangeliiNuntiandi
  • “The fresh breath of the Spirit, too, has come to awaken latent energies within the Church, to stir up dormant charisms, and to infuse a sense of vitality and joy. It is this sense of vitality and joy which makes the Church youthful and relevant in every age, and prompts her to proclaim joyously her eternal message to each new epoch. “
  • “It must be said that the Holy Spirit is the principal agent of evangelization: it is He who impels each individual to proclaim the Gospel.”
  • “More than once we have asked ourselves what the greatest needs of the Church are… this need is the Spirit… the Church needs her eternal Pentecost; she needs fire in her heart, words on her lips; a glance that is prophetic.”
  • Gifts so that the Church will be fruitful and demand respect
pope john paul ii
Pope John Paul II

“Charlie! Charlie bit me! That really hurt!”

pope john paul ii1
Pope John Paul II
  • “Whenever the Spirit intervenes, he leaves people astonished. He brings about events of amazing newness; he radically changes persons and history.” Lumen Gentium
  • “Open yourselves docilely to the gifts of the Holy Spirit! Accept gratefully and obediently the charisms which the Spirit never ceases to bestow on you!”
pope benedict xvi
Pope Benedict XVI

I love my German Shepherd!

pope benedict xvi1
Pope Benedict XVI
  • “Christ’s entire mission is summed up in this: to baptize us in the Holy Spirit, to free us from the slavery of death and ‘to Open heaven to us, that is, access to the true and full life that will be a ‘plunging ever anew into the vastness of being, in which we are simply overwhelmed joy.’” SpeSalvi
  • “Together we shall invoke the Holy Spirit, confidently asking God for the gift of a new Pentecost for the Church and for humanity in the third millennium.” WYD 2008
  • "Today I would like to extend this invitation to everyone: Let us rediscover, dear brothers and sisters, the beauty of being baptized in the Holy Spirit; let us be aware again of our baptism and of our confirmation, sources of grace that are always present."
  • The word charism simply means “gift” or “special grace”
  • Charisms are given by the Holy Spirit to Christians to empower them to perform a particular type of service to build up the Church in the world (Eph 4:12).
  • The buidling up of the Church is fundamentally a spiritual work that exceeds our capacity and requires the work of the Holy Spirit.
  • Endowment of the whole Church
  • EVERY baptized Christian has been given a charism or multiple charisms to build up the Church and to further her mission in the world.
  • “To each is given a manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Cor 12:7).
  • Romans 12:4-8
  • 1 Corinthians 12:1, 7-11
  • I Peter 4:10-11
  • Ephesians 4:11
  • Speaking Gifts
    • Prophecy – for building up, encouragement and consolation (1 Cor14:3)
    • Exhortation – encourage, challenge rebuke
    • Word of Knowledge – insight into faith (not book smart) (1 Cor 13:2)
    • Word of Wisdom – gift of practical counsel i.e.) Sirach (1 Cor 12:8)
    • Tongues – personal prayer language (1 Cor 14:5)
    • Interpretation (1 Cor 12:10)
  • Sign or Power Gifts
    • Faith – faith that moves mountains (Mk 11:23)
    • Healing – physical, emotional or spiritual healing that occur through prayer (Acts 3:1-26, 9:32-43)
    • Miracles – on the spot manifestations of God’s power
    • Discernment of Spirits – supernatural insight into the source of a particular situation (Acts 16:16-18)
  • Gifts of Service
    • Helps (Rom 12:7, 1 Cor 12:28, 1 Pet 4:9)
    • Hospitality (1 Pet 4:9)
    • Giving (Rom 12:8)
    • Administration (Rom 12:8)
    • Service (Rom 12:7)
    • Mercy (Rom 12:8)
  • Leadership Gifts
    • Apostle – teach, preach and found new Christian communities (Acts1:21-22; 1 Cor 4:1,9; Eph 2:19-20).
    • Prophet – “speak to the other people for their upbuilding, encouragement and consolation” (1 Cor 14: 3-4).
    • Evangelist – supernatural ability to communicate the good news in a way that leads people to conversion (Acts 21:8; Acts 8:5-13)
    • Teacher – ability to make Truth clear
    • Pastor – provide for the spiritual welfare of a community
  • How do I know?
    • Know them! Learn them! Read them!
      • “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be uninformed.” 1 Cor 12:1
      • Pray through them and for them
      • Follow your passions (the good ones – those that build up the Kingdom) and keep working towards them
tell me a story
Tell Me a Story!

What is the most powerful force in human in history? Story. Want to start a war? Tell a story. Want to end a war? Tell a story. Want to cause people to fall in love? Tell a story. Want to cause people to fall out of love? Tell a story. Want to inspire people? Tell a story. Want to degrade people? Tell a story. Want to motivate people? Tell a story. Want to discourage people? Tell a story. The most powerful force in history is story…

— Matthew Kelly, author of Rediscovering Catholicism

6 reasons to share your story
6 Reasons to Share Your Story

1. We should always be prepared to give a reason for the hope within us (I Peter 3:15).

2. The call to evangelize is universal (Matthew 28:18-20).

3. Jesus specifically tells us to do it (Luke 8:38-39).

4. People will come to faith through our witness (John 4:28-30, 39-40).

5. When well-prepared, our testimony is concrete and non-threatening to non- Christians. It is harder for others to deny the concrete story of our experience as a Christian than if we were to present abstract ideas.

6. One of the most natural ways to evangelize is by a testimony that is conversational and can be put into writing.

your story in four acts based on acts 26
Your Story in Four Acts (Based on Acts 26)

Act 1: My life before I knew Jesus Christ (26:1-11)What kind of a person was I socially, spiritually, and emotionally? Introduce a unifying theme to the testimony (for example, a familiarity with Christ but no personal knowledge of Him, loneliness in college, spiritual hunger, or the Fatherhood of God). Paul’s unifying theme is his devotion to Judaism.

Act 2: How I came to know Jesus Christ (26:12-18)What happened? Even if the conversion was gradual, the testimony should still give one concrete moment or turning point for the audience to ―hang onto. If other people were involved in bringing about the conversion, take care to make sure this section is Christ-centered and not agent- centered.Avoid any over-dramatization.

your story in four acts based on acts 261
Your Story in Four Acts (Based on Acts 26)

Act 3: My life in Jesus Christ (26:19-23)What changes have occurred in my life? How am I living my relationship with Jesus?

Act 4: The challenge and Invitation to the audience (26:27-29)Ask the audience, implicitly or explicitly, how will you respond to Jesus Christ?

elements of powerful testimony
Elements of Powerful Testimony

When telling your story, keep these four important elements in mind:

CONCRETENESS: The audience is given handles to the testimony. Experiences, places, and persons are described accurately and unambiguously, yet without obsession to detail. The turning point (how one came to know Jesus Christ) is identifiable and specific, even if it is just one of many turning points. The person giving the testimony comes across as real and ordinary.

ACCESSIBILITY: The experiences are described in such a way that the audience can relate to or understand them. The language chosen is free from religious terms and dense terminology that could separate the speaker from the audience, like sin,tabernacle, and Eucharistic adoration.

SIMPLICITY: The plot or thread of the testimony is clear and easy to follow, without confusing tangents and opulent details. Jesus Christ is at the center of this testimony. He is its hinge.

THEMATIC STRUCTURE: There is one overarching theme or analogy. Every point of the testimony should in some way be related to this single theme.