Grace to you!
Yesterday, I introduced the theme of the Holy Spirit. Today’s reflection on the quality of the Holy Spirit as the “paraclete,” the gift of God the Son from the Father flows from yesterday’s reflection.
In continuation of the farewell address to his disciples and the promise about another advocate, the Lord Jesus said: “But when the Counselor (παράκλητος) comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me; and you also are witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning (Jn 15:26-27).”
The Greek word παράκλητος (parakletos),sometimes anglicized as Paraclete, has rich meaning. It carries with it some crucial qualitites we have to know about the Holy Spirit and His work in the life of the believer and the Church. Observe that I have always mentioned the Holy Spirit’s work in the Church as well as individual members of the Church. This is so because the Gift of the Holy Spirit is for us as Church and as individuals in the Church.
During his Opening Address at the third session of Vatican II, 14 September 1964, Pope Paul VI insisted we pay attention to these two areas of the Spirit’s work: “The Holy Spirit acts internally within each person, as well as on the whole community [church], animating, vivifying, sanctifying.”
Paraclete, as you may have known, literally means “someone called in” so as to supply the need or be an advocate to our cause. The Spirit comes in to refresh, revitalize and renew our depressing spirit.
The Holy Spirit supplies the need of the Church and the believer at least through three distinct ways. First is through being our holy and loving advocate. He carries on in us and in the Church the same intercessory role of Christ the Lord; becoming our voice in prayer, sort of our offering, needs and sacrifices back to God the Father. Our Public prayer (Sacred Liturgy) is alive and effective because of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 8:26 reassures us of this intercessory role of the Holy Spirit: “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.” God understands that conversation because it’s of His Spirit.
Know that in our prayers, even those imperfect conversations with God, if we allow the Holy Spirit, He, as our advocate will plead our cause before God. He will speak on our behalf in the perfect way. He does so because He is our advocate, the promise by Christ the Incarnate Advocate to us as believers.
So when the Church prays during the liturgy or when individuals pray (private or public prayer), those prayers resound in the throne of Divine Love, echoing the power and voice of the Spirit of God within us. Our private prayers are as good as our openness to the anointing of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Tomorrow we continue on the function of the Holy Spirit as an Exhorter, the Counselor.
Praying that we be open to the Holy Spirit as He intercedes on our behalf. Amen
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Monday Week 6: Acts 16:11-15; Jn 15:26-16:4A]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu Ph.D., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.