Grace to you!
We continue our reflection on the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete. Today, we look at how the Holy Spirit is our Counselor and Exhorter.
Perhaps, you became aware of the important role of a counselor when you were in high school or college. The counselor helps us to make the right choices in our career paths.
“I will see my counselor,” seems to suggest the person believes his or her counselor will figure things out (or at least help him or her do so). We realize that the counselor’s job is relevant because we are in a crossroad, or discerning re a situation or a thing. It could also be about finding the right mental or emotional disposition or sense of balance towards a particular or many situations.
Whether the counselor is for clinical, spiritual or educational services, the person is “called in” as a second, expert voice. In a similar, but most profound way, the Holy Spirit is the Counselor offered to us, free of charge, from the Father through Jesus Christ the Son.
The Lord Jesus told the disciples: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you” (Jn 16:7).
Making the right decision regarding our life and future, as well as discerning the right spiritual path in our relationship with God and one another aren’t easy choices. Hence, the Holy Spirit helps us, guiding and exhorting us to make right choices.
If you find it difficult to keep a consistent pattern of good behavior or make right choices; or if you feel like making progress in the invitation to be holy is frustrating, the Holy Spirit is the one to call in. He will counsel and exhort you. This regards the individual, as well as the church as a community of faith. Pastors in parishes, leaders of ministries, parents in families, teachers, etc., need the Holy Spirit’s counsel to lead well.
Reading the courage of Paul and Silas who were put in prison, and how they boldly kept faith in the Risen Lord (Acts 16:22-34), and the numerous heroic works of the early Church, and men and women of faith throughout the ages, one wouldn’t but acknowledge the great power influencing their lives. That Power and Exhorter is the Holy Spirit.
The counseling work of the Holy Spirit also keeps our conscience truly attuned to the will of God. Often, we tend to ignore or explain away the weight of sin or lack of love, and ignore the good. The Holy Spirit as the Counselor is the source of moral and spiritual clarity. The Spirit does so through shining the light of truth in our lives and hearts so we will see the good as it truly is, and evil as terrible as it is.
As the Lord Jesus said: “And when he [Holy Spirit] comes, he will convince the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged” (Jn 16:8-11).
Pray: Oh Holy Spirit, be my Counselor as I rise in the morning and as I go back to bed at night. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Tuesday, Easter Week 6: Acts 16:22-34; Jn 16:7-11]
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.