The fourth and final theme of Chapter Four, the call to holiness, “Enlivened by the Holy Spirit.” Christians, and sometimes Catholics in particular, are mystified by the role of the Spirit. Saint Luke’s is the most illustrative of the Gospels, but Saint Paul is well-cited in these first two paragraphs given to this theme:
149. At the outset of his public life, after his baptism, Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit to the desert to prepare for his mission (cf. Mk 1:12-13), and with prayer and fasting, he discerned the will of the Father and overcame the temptations of following other paths. This same Spirit accompanied Jesus during his whole life (cf. Acts 10:38). After his resurrection, he communicated his life-giving Spirit to his own (cf. Acts 2:33).
150. Starting at Pentecost, the Church immediately experiences the fruitful interventions of the Spirit, divine vitality expressed in different gifts and charisms (cf. 1 Cor. 12:1-11) and varied offices that build up the church and serve evangelization (cf. 1 Cor. 12:28-29). By these gifts of the Spirit, the community extends the saving ministry of the Lord until He again is manifested at the end of time (cf. 1 Cor. 1:6-7). The Spirit in the Church shapes firm and courageous missionaries like Peter (cf. Acts 4:13) and Paul (cf. Acts 13:9), indicates the places that must be evangelized, and chooses those who must do so (cf. Acts 13:2).
The early Christians had such a profound experience of God’s grace and agency in supporting their adoption of Christ’s mission and ministry they could not explain it by their own talents and skills alone. The situation remains the same for missionary disciples today. We see the mission continue in spite of our own flaws and inadequacies. how else to explain what is accomplished but through God?
For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.