From the Pastor's Desk
From Easter to Pentecost our readings focus on the early apostolic preaching of the Good News of salvation and on the promises of Jesus to his disciples, especially his promise of the Holy Spirit. Today’s readings explain who the Holy Spirit is, what His roles are and how we can experience Him in our daily lives.
The first reading describes how the Holy Spirit helped Philip, the Deacon, to preach powerfully and convert the Samaritans in large numbers. It also explains how the baptized Samaritans received a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit through the imposition of hands by the apostles Peter and John. In the second reading, Peter shows us the God-fearing lives the Holy Spirit makes it possible for us believers to live in the midst of opposition and persecution. Today’s Gospel, taken from the “Last Supper Discourse,” describes the gift Jesus will ask the Father to send, the Holy Spirit, Who will live as the Paraclete, the Divine Advocate, in those who obey Jesus’ commandments, especially the commandment of love. Thus, Jesus will continue to live in his believers with the indwelling Father and Holy Spirit, so that we will not be left as orphans. The risen Jesus’ continued presence in us and in the Church through the Holy Spirit gives meaning and purpose to all we are and all we do in his Name. As the Divine Advocate, the Holy Spirit will instruct us in Jesus’ doctrines and illumine our minds to receive deeper knowledge of our Faith. In addition, the Divine Advocate will enable us to defend our Faith powerfully and will guide us properly in our practice of true Christian love.
Thus, we will be able to recognize Jesus in the in the poor, in the sick, in the homeless, in the marginalized, in the outcast, in the drug addicts, and even in the criminals ("I was in prison..."), and so to become agents of healing and reconciliation in a broken and divided world.
Life message: We need to be open to the Holy Spirit, our Paraclete. The purpose of the indwelling Holy Spirit is to help us grow towards maturity and wholeness. We all have faults that prevent our growth: blocks of sin and imperfection, blocks due to childhood conflicts, blocks due to deeply ingrained personality traits and habits, blocks caused by addictions, and blocks resulting from bad choices we have made. We all have these blocks within us and they keep us from becoming what God wants us to be. They prevent us from growing into maturity and wholeness. God, the Holy Spirit, helps us see the truth about ourselves, to discern the blocks that inhibit our growth, and to allow Him to transform us. Like the Good Counselor He is, the Spirit enables us to become stronger. The Holy Spirit also comes to our aid and gives us the strength to make difficult and painful decisions. The Holy Spirit actually lives in us, and we hear His voice counseling and guiding us in the way of truth. Let us open the ears of our minds to hear Him and to obey His promptings.