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Open your heart and soul to the Holy Spirit, Archbishop says

By Myrna S. Bermudo

“The Holy Spirit transforms us. Let us open our mind, heart and soul to receive the Holy Spirit,” said Most Rev. Rex Andrew C. Alarcon, D.D., newly installed Caceres archbishop.

On Pentecost Sunday, May 19, Archbishop Alarcon presided over the Eucharistic celebration at six o’clock in the morning at the Metropolitan Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.

In his homily, he introduced the several Biblical personages transformed by the Holy Spirit as narrated in the Sacred Scriptures.

In Lk 1:34-35, the angel Gabriel said to Mary “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.”

An angel of the Lord appeared to Zechariah saying: Your Son will be filled with the Holy Spirit. (Lk. 1: 14-15)

When Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove and a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved. In you I am pleased.’

At the start of Jesus’ public ministry, he read from the book of the Prophet Isaiah ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor,”  (Lk. 4:18)

As he teaches, Jesus said: No one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. (Jn. 3: 5)

Before Jesus ascended into heaven, he gave an assurance: ‘The Holy Spirit will teach you everything and will remind you of all that I have said to you. ‘(Jn. 14:26)

During the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles in Acts 2:4, all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them the ability.

In chapter twelve of the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, he said: ‘there are varieties of gifts but the same Spirit.’

“In the Sacred Scripture, we have many texts introducing the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Holy Trinity,” Alarcon said. “It is the Holy Spirit who transforms the Bíblical personages we have mentioned. He transforms us and he transforms the earth.”

Continuing his catechesis, he explained the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit received during confirmation, “Wisdom, understanding, counsel, courage, piety, counsel, fear of the Lord. These are the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We need these seven heavenly gifts. So, I encourage you to open your mind, heart and soul to receive the Spirit of God.”

“We need the wisdom and grace from the Holy Spirit. We need courage and good counsel for our decision making.”

Encouraging the faithful to open their hearts to the Holy Spirit, he proposed a prayer: “On this day of Pentecost, let our prayer be: God Our Father, send the Holy Spirit. Renew us. Send to me the Holy Spirit. Renew me. Remove what is ugly in me, heal my wounds so that I will live as a child of God.”

“May the grace of the Holy Spirit transform us. May the Holy Spirit transform the Church,” the  archbishop prayed.

Alarcon was installed May 2 at the Metropolitan Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist as the fifth Archbishop of Caceres.


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