Something about the people of Ephesus just didn’t seem right to Saint Paul. There seemed to be something missing in their lives of faith. Perhaps they lacked joy and energy. Perhaps petty rivalries had divided them. Whatever Paul observed, his question went straight to the heart of the problem, he asked them: “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
Their answer confirmed what Paul suspected: “We have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” They accepted John the Baptist’s message of repentance but never connected with Jesus, the Lamb of God to whom John’s ministry pointed.
As soon as Paul told them about God’s greater purpose, they wanted to be a full part of it. And so as he prayed with them, the Holy Spirit entered them, and they were transformed.
God wants us to be co-creators with him. Like the Ephesian disciples, God longs to fill us with his life so that we can be other Christs in the world, touching those we meet with unconditional love, liberating forgiveness, powerful healing, and uplifting hope and courage.
At the end of each day when we examine our conscience we shouldn’t just remember any sins we may have committed or breathe a sigh of relief at any we have avoided. We should also examine how God tried to get through to us today: perhaps through the needs of others or through an unexpected occurrence that interrupted our plans. Perhaps it came through the inspiration of reading a book or listening to someone speak to us – or even that still, small voice that we find so difficult to hear? Like the Ephesians we should be open to receiving the fullness of God’s Holy Spirit at Pentecost.