They were all astounded and bewildered, and said to one another, “What does this mean?” But others said, scoffing, “They have had too much new wine.” Acts 2:12-13
I love this reference in the bible. It makes me wonder: What were these disciples doing that made others think that they were drunk?
Have you ever been in love? I mean head over heels crazy, jumping up and down, I am going to burst kind of love? Remember that?
I recall a few years back there was video of Tom Cruise being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey where he professes his love for Katie Holmes. I haven’t seen it, but what I heard was that he was jumping up and down and standing on the couch and confessing his love. When others saw it – they were wondering if he was high or drunk. Love can do that to you.
That is what I think of when I read this passage from Acts of the Apostles. No, I don’t mean Tom Cruise. I mean that uncontrollable feeling of being in love! Unlike the supermarket tabloid kind of love; I am talking about the kind that lasts.
Love is an amazing thing – we are inebriated with it. When the Holy Spirit enters your life in a big way and you recognize it – well – That’s Amore!
In my own (re) conversion experience – The Holy Spirit hit me in a big way!
It was 2003 and my children were attending a Catholic school. As part of the Lenten practice, they were offered the sacrament of reconciliation as part of their school day. Though I was a cradle Catholic and my children attended Catholic School, I had not visited that sacrament since my Confirmation. Prompted by what I now understand as the Holy Spirit, I made an appointment to visit the new priest at our church. The objective of my appointment was to argue with him the teachings of the faith. Filled with misconceptions and pride, I descended on this poor priest as if I would be able to convince him to “set the church right.” At that time I rarely went to Mass and never prayed.
What happened at that meeting changed my life. As Father patiently waited out my arguments, he offered some education, but most of all he offered me compassion. At one point I remember getting up to leave – I didn’t want to hear what he had to say.
Out of nowhere he said to me, “Sharon, what are you afraid of?” The words hit me like a ton of bricks. I sat back down, cried for 5 minutes and entered into a confession – a real confession; a confession of my life, of all my fears and my pain.
I left that meeting as a new person. I was filled with joy. I knew that God was real and that he knows me and loves me! I thought I should make t-shirts with that phrase.
“God knows me and he loves me!”
I could barely contain the joy. I wanted to shout it from the mountaintops. It was a joy that I didn’t understand and I am sure if anyone saw me they would have wondered if “she has had too much new wine!”
In the years since that first experience of God’s love in my heart, I have needed to cultivate and allow that love to grow and mature. A more mature love occasionally looks subdued but like the love I have for my husband – it grows under the surface but sometimes it pops up in the giddy rush in my heart of that new love. I cherish it and nurture it. It is the same with that first flash of the Holy Spirit that brought me to God and I am a fool for God again!
Yes – I have had too much new wine! The Wine of God’s love!
It would seem the most impractical thing in the world to fall in love and be fools for God, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Fall in Love
Attributed to Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ (1907-1991)
Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.
From Finding God in All Things: A Marquette Prayer Book © 2009 Marquette University Press.
Questions to ponder:
I needed to shed my fears to be able to allow the Holy Spirit into my life. “What are you afraid of?”
Are you a “Fool for Christ?” How do you show it?
If others saw you on the street would they be able to recognize you as “Having had too much new wine?”
Fall in Love, stay in love,and it will decide everything.