Grace to you!
In today’s reflection, I draw from Acts of the Apostles, chapter 15, and the Gospel of John,chapter 14:23-29, to highlight a couple of roles the Holy Spirit plays in the life of the Church and the believer.
The Lord Jesus Christ promised us that if we listen to him and keep his commandment, he and God the Father will abide with us. That is, God will make a home in us (see John 14:23). This abiding presence is through the LOVE from the Father and the Son—the Holy Spirit. God’s Love has been poured into the heart of the believer through the Holy Spirit (Rm 5:5).
The Lord makes us this promise and his word is true: “These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:25-26).
Observe the two functions the Holy Spirit will carry out in the life of the Church based on the revelation of this particular text. First, the Holy Spirit will teach you all things. The Holy Spirit will teach the Church and believers all things pertaining to the salvation Christ has brought. The Spirit will make the Gospel come alive in the Church. Anyone led by the Holy Spirit begins to see the richness of divine revelation in Christ, not only in written text of Scripture and Sacred worship, but as the person lives it out in everyday life.
Second, the Holy Spirit will make the believer remember what things have been revealed in the Old Testament, what things Jesus the Christ has said and done, all he has taught the disciples, which seemed way over their heads. The Holy Spirit reminds the Church and believers of the Jesus events. Wow!
Hence the Holy Spirit is called the Counselor for the roles of teaching and reminding, and the Comforter for the role of consoling us with peace and confidence of being right with God. Christ’s promise to be with the Church until the end of time (see Matthew 28:20) is, therefore, possible through the Holy Spirit. He is God’s abiding presence with us.
See an example (there are numerous) of the fulfillment of this promise. The first ecclesial, but also theological crisis in the Church (Acts 15:1-25), was resolved by the counseling, teaching and remembering roles of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit was with the disciples during the entire debate of the Jerusalem Council. The apostles themselves professed that the Holy Spirit was with them as they made their decisions. They didn’t resolve the doctrinal issues by their own mere human opinions. They collaborated with the Holy Spirit— “the Holy Spirit and us…” (Acts 15:28).
This is a crucial lesson for us in our different leadership roles in our parishes and in our domestic churches (the family). During administrative decisions or theological debates in our churches, do we allow the Holy Spirit to teach us and inspire us? When conflicts arise in the family, do we ever listen to hear what the Spirit of God has to say? How often do we make the Holy Spirit the soul of our decision-making process? You want to discern properly, give the Holy Spirit a chance.
You have to be certain of this: With the Holy Spirit, a nerving case is like a smoother ride on the coast of France. One thing is needed. Let us allow the Holy Spirit to direct the Church. Let us give the Spirit a chance in our families. If the Spirit abides with us, we are better for it.
Please pray with me: Come Holy Spirit fill the hearts of the faithful, enkindle in us the fire of your love. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Sixth Sunday of Easter: Acts 15:1-2, 22-25; Rev 21:10-14, 22-23; John 14:23-29]
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.