Ralph Martin gave the following prophetic reflection in Rome for the Golden Jubilee of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. His talk followed ones by Patti Mansfield and Dave Mangan.
Be still and know that He is God.
God is here. The God that Patti and Dave are speaking about is here, now.
He’s right next to you, right in you. It doesn’t matter where you are sitting. It doesn’t matter whether you’re thirsty. It doesn’t matter whether you’re hot and sweaty.
He is here.
God is here.
He wants to do in our souls, and He wants to do in our hearts, what He most loves to do.
He loves to invite us to repentance. He wants to give more of Himself to us. He is asking us to let go of things we may be holding on to that are blocking His love in our life.
We should be asking ourselves, “What should we do?” Because we’re not just celebrating something from the past. We are telling the story of One who is still present.
God is here now, wanting to do what He did in the Upper Room on the Day of Pentecost and the Ark and the Dove (the retreat house in Pennsylvania where the Catholic Charismatic Renewal began). Ask the same question they asked of Peter on the day of Pentecost: “What shall we do?”
Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus.
We know from the Acts of the Apostles, the gift of the Holy Spirit isn’t just a one-time gift. When the apostles were facing persecution, they prayed for more of the Holy Spirit. We are facing difficulty and persecution all over the world. We need more of the Holy Spirit.
When Timothy got lukewarm in his ministry, Paul said, “Stir up the fire I gave you through the laying on of my hands” (2 Tm 1:6). That gift is meant to be stirred up. For some of us, maybe it’s gotten lukewarm. Some of us here maybe don’t even know why we’re here tonight. We heard of big things happening, and we’re curious.
What’s happening here tonight is the action of God being made visible in this most amazing gathering of people from 127 different countries, who have sacrificed to be here as witnesses, out of love for God.
Everybody here is a witness!
Everybody here is a witness to the action of God.
In a few minutes, we’re going to pray for more of the Holy Spirit. We need to prepare ourselves to do what Peter asked us to do on the day of Pentecost.
There’s lots of distraction. There’s lots of very wonderful excitement. There’s lots of wonderful celebration.
But God is here. The God that Patti and Dave were speaking about is here. Now.
He’s right next to you. He’s in you. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to convict us of ways in which we can have courage to be witnesses. It’s only because of the Holy Spirit that anybody can say that Jesus Christ is Lord. Every knee will bend and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
To anyone here who hasn’t surrendered their life to Jesus Christ, Jesus Himself is here, and He is speaking to you. He’s loving you, and He’s urging you, and He’s hungry for you to accept His love.
I’m going to close with something that Jesus said through the Holy Spirit to one of the first Christian communities: “I am the first and the last. I was dead, but now I’m alive. Behold, I am alive for ever and ever” (Rev 1: 17-18).
Jesus is alive forever and ever! He’s here tonight. He’s ready to heal. He’s ready to pour out the Holy Spirit. He’s ready to forgive sin. He’s ready to pour out His heart!
Let’s open our hearts to God!