Sixth Sunday of Easter

Bulletin Date: 
Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Holy Spirit

"We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. Who with the Father and the Son He is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets." So we attest each Sunday. This amazing truth which is captured in such a succinct and profound statement, is amplified in the readings for this sixth Sunday of Easter.

Jesus, knowing that he was soon to leave his disciples was concerned that they not feel abandoned, or in his words, orphaned. Jesus having lived among them for some years, and having experienced the increasing hostility of the world against the things of God, knew that not only would the disciples feel abandoned, but that they would have a difficult time following him and his manner of life. Jesus knew that it would become increasingly difficult for them to show their love through their obedience if they were left all alone. So in his grace and foresight, Jesus interceded with the Father to send a Paraclete, a helper, one to come along beside them and live within them.

Perhaps the Holy Spirit’s most important function is to indwell us. There, living within believers, he is enabling us to love and obey the Father and the Son. No matter where we go, or what we do, the Holy Spirit is committed to going there with us, and helping us love and obey. Sometimes he must be appalled by the places we go and the things we do, but he does not abandon us. Instead he consistently speaks to our heart and mind, pricks and prods our conscience, and elicits our repentance and our conversion from within us. When in obedience we endeavor to do great things for God, whether simply the greatness of giving love and forgiveness to others, or more complex forms of dedicated service, he is there helping. It is the Holy Spirit who equips us with giftedness. It is he who takes our efforts and multiplies them beyond our ability. It is the Holy Spirit who gives wisdom, strength, courage, and comfort. What would we do without him?

"The Holy Spirit is the Lord and Giver of life, and it is he who sanctifies the soul. Is not the Christian a living temple of the Holy Spirit? And what a wealth of benefits to the soul comes with this indwelling of the Lord’s Spirit!"

Holy Spirit is also within us to equip us to witness and proclaim the knowledge of Jesus and the reality of his salvation. This is what the second reading refers to as, "to make a defense to anyone who calls you into account for the hope that is in you." He equips us to be witnesses by reproducing his virtues and fruit within us. These qualities are what attracts non-believers’ attention and whets their appetites for God. The Holy Spirit, throughout our life of growth, forms our understanding regarding Christ and the mystery of salvation so that we can adequately explain, in simple terms, how someone can believe and begin their journey of faith. The Holy Spirit is our hope, and he equips us to take that hope to the world.

On this Sixth Sunday of Easter let us pray, "Holy Spirit, God of light, fill us with your radiance bright; gentle father of the poor, make us, by your help, secure; come, your boundless grace impart bring your love to every heart. Light immortal, fire divine, with your love our hearts refine; come, our inmost being fill, make us all to do your will; goodness you alone can give, grant that in your grace we live."(emmausjourney)

God Bless!! Fr Elmer