Water is a very familiar cleansing agent used very commonly in washing
rituals in most oriental religions. It was also used during the time
of John the Baptist, referred to by St. Paul as the baptism of
repentance. However, in our sacred Christian tradition water
symbolizes the new life in Christ through sacramental baptism.
While symbols may portray a higher reality, we would still need a
transforming experience of the Holy Spirit. It would be this
experience that would help us recognize the Holy Spirit initially
encountered in the sacraments. That is why development is an on-going
process, a re-creative process making us new and whole again.
Today, we see renewal movements like Focolare, marriage encounter,
Neocatechumenate, family advocacy groups, Life in the Spirit Seminars,
silent retreats, etc. These movements help people experience the Holy
Spirit resulting in positive changes in their lives.
When asked if they received the Holy Spirit when they became
believers, the disciples in Ephesus answered, “No, we were never even
told there was such a thing as Holy Spirit.” That’s because it is only
through Jesus that the Holy Spirit can come to us.
The relationship aspect with God which Christ came to restore in
humankind is precisely that relationship shared by the Holy Trinity as
community. The Holy Spirit is the bond of love that exists to confer
the gift of peace which Jesus does to his followers. We can only have
peace if we truly seek it in the Holy Spirit but it does not come
easy. Jesus, however, assures us: “Be brave. I have conquered the