This is a simple explanation of the life that God originally planned for His people, His unconditional love, and His ongoing desire for relationship with us. God is offering us the fullness of life and holiness.
This week we look at the various ways and means that God uses to invite us to enter into this love. We take a look at recognising these ways and discerning the presence of Jesus and the gifts that the Holy Spirit can bring us.
God has begun this new life in us through the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. During the seminar we hope to rediscover this gift.
This presentation will include a “witness” of the discovery of God's personal love. This witness is really a personal story of how somebody experienced God at work in his/her life and how they came into this fullness of life we spoke about.
Week 2. Salvation This week we hear about God sending Jesus, His Son, to give us new life. Jesus reveals the Father's love for us through His life, death and resurrection. Jesus is Shepherd, Healer, Lord and Redeemer. This last role of Redeemer is important because it is Jesus who has opened the way for our salvation. Walking on this path to salvation as a Christian involves selecting a new way of living and constantly choosing to remain on this path.
Jesus offers forgiveness and restoration for each of us.
When we were baptized, no matter how long ago, we (or more probably our parents) promised to reject sin, to believe in God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit and to embrace the Church. These vows are also a life-long commitment to God. How real are those vows in our lives now?
Session 2 will emphasise the necessity for a recommitment to these vows and for a stronger awareness of the link between God and His people. It identifies ways of accepting God’s invitation into His redeeming light. This is a sobering invitation.
“He has taken us out of the power of darkness and created a place for us in the kingdom of the Son that He loves, and in Him we gain our freedom, the forgiveness of our sins.” (Col 1: 13-14) Week 3. New Life This session looks at how Jesus offers new life in the Spirit, who is our helper and our strength. When we accept this life in the Spirit, we are given the power to follow Christ and serve as members of the Body of Christ.
There is always more of God's life and Spirit. This means that there is an abundance of God’s life in us and consequently a vital relationship with Him.
This session centres on the promise of new life in Jesus. It helps us realize the value of the gift being offered us. These gifts will be looked at in a very simple way in order to make them relevant for us.
This week’s witness describes in a personal way the importance of gifts of the Spirit in daily life.
“I came so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” (Jn 10:10)
Week 4. Receiving God’s Gift
This week is about the growth element of our relationship with Jesus. As we have seen, this relationship started with what we call the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) and involves growing in relationship with Jesus.
As we proceed on our journey of faith, the Spirit fills us with new life. There is a new fire burning in our hearts and a river of life in our souls that constantly refreshes and sustains us.
We look at the events of Easter and Pentecost.
This is the session in which the process of ‘conversion’ is explained. This simply means turning to the Lord in repentance and faith.
“If anyone is thirsty, let them to come to me! Let the person come and drink who believes in me! As scripture says: From His heart shall flow fountains of living water.” (Jn 7: 37-38)
Week 5. Empowerment – “Baptism of the Holy Spirit”
This presentation provides an explanation of what will occur as we pray for the full release of the Spirit. Through the Baptism in the Holy Spirit we experience Jesus Christ in a different, often more intimate way. We also have a stronger awareness of His presence in the Eucharist. We are drawn into a new and more fervent depth of prayer. The Scripture and the life of the Church become more alive for us. We also find new help in trying to live up to the demands of Christianity. We may notice ourselves more detached from material things; many describe a new simplicity of life which helps them grow in unity with God.
The fruits of the Spirit may be evidenced in our life in new and very specific ways. The charisms (graces of God and manifestations of the Holy Spirit given for the benefit of the whole Body of the Church) are experienced. We are equipped to serve the people of God and to be witnesses to Jesus Christ in the world in new and specific ways.
Week 6. Growth
This week we look at how we care for the seed that has been sown. We discuss how we can nourish and care for this seed so that it will flourish and grow into something big, strong and wonderful.
This seed of ours is God’s life in us which, once planted, will grow when given diligent care.
While we are familiar with the value of prayer and the sacraments, we might be less familiar with the idea of a faith-sharing community. But this is an integral part of our growth in the Spirit, and Session 6 discusses various other ways of living our Christian lives, through scripture reading, study and service.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, with me in him, bears fruit in plenty; for cut off me from me you can do nothing.” (Jn 15: 5) Week 7. Transformation in Christ
In week 7 we look at the powerful effects of our new life in the Spirit in terms of changes in ourselves. We hear how we can become transformed; how challenges can be met and difficulties overcome, and how to persevere with the life in the Spirit within the Body of Christ.
A Spirit-filled life includes many ways of sharing what we have discovered with others around us through service and evangelization.