The Holy Spirit: Your Personal Guide for Life
Today’s Gospel reading is taken from Jesus’ Last Supper discourse. He continues the work of preparing his disciples for his imminent departure from them by assuring them that he is not leaving them alone. Instead, Jesus is going to live in them along with God his Father and God the Holy Spirit. “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth… I will not abandon you as orphans.” (John 14:16,18)
Jesus promises the abiding presence of the Holy Trinity in his disciples who show their love for him by keeping his commandments, especially his commandment of love. God repeatedly revealed Himself in the Old Testament and promised to dwell amid His people. But here Jesus speaks of the presence of God in each person. We are each a part of the Divine chain of love. God loves man. He sent His Son to prove it. After Jesus’ Resurrection and Ascension, God the Father continues to live in us with His Son and the Holy Spirit.
Remember the phrase, “the state of grace”? Is this grace present and available to us today during this global pandemic? The dynamic reality is the presence of the father - who made us, the son - who saved us, the spirit - who makes us holy - all are dwelling within us. That is grace. That is the eternal dance. Today we can rest assure that our loving God gives us the Father’s protection and providence, the Son’s redemption and forgiveness of sins, and the Holy Spirit’s sanctification and guidance to get through this challenging time.
The Holy Spirit touches our lives in many ways which empower us to live out our faith. There is one promise that has special relevance today. Later in the Gospel of John, Jesus says: “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.” (John 16:13) The truth into which the Holy Spirit guides us is the truth about Christ. The Spirit also helps us through patient practice to discern right from wrong. With so many different and mixed messages coming to us today, all purporting to represent the truth, it is absolutely essential that we listen to the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit pointing us to the Way of Jesus and the truth. Let the Holy Spirit be our personal guide.
It would be easy to blame GOD for the pandemic instead of seeing the Lord Jesus working through this crisis to draw us ever closer to GOD by spending more time in prayer, guided by the Holy Spirit. GOD is with us at this crucial time in our lives, leading us to focus on what is most important – our faith, our health, our relationships with other people, even if it is only at a socially safe distance and talking through a mask or on social media. The Holy Spirit continues to inflame the hearts of those who seek the Spirit’s presence. We are able to speak and act in a way that shows they are disciples of the Lord Jesus and shares in His mission and ministry.
With the Lord, we will never be orphans. How might you live tomorrow differently if you were to go into it believing that you are one with God through Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit? How might that faith shape what you do and say to others?
I will leave you with Pope Francis’s daily Prayer to the Holy Spirit:
“Holy Spirit may my heart be open to the Word of God, may my heart be open to good, may my heart be open to the beauty of God. Amen.”
God bless you folks. Father Gerard