Sunday May 22nd, 2022
6th Sunday of Easter, Year C
Dear Pastorate Family,
This weekend Jesus speaks about the coming of “the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name…” Jesus says further that the Holy Spirit “…will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.” We can’t underestimate the value and the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church. Nonetheless, the Holy Spirit is often the forgotten Person of the Holy Trinity. We’re familiar with the Father and the Son, but the Holy Spirit often seems less well known. What can we say about the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is God. As such, He is a divine Person – we refer to the Holy Spirit as “He” rather than “it” or any other impersonal form of address. The Holy Spirit is understood as proceeding from both the Father and the Son, and He acts in union with the Son in carrying out the Father’s will. The coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost is the final element of the full revelation of God as Trinity.
During this time, we should spiritually prepare ourselves for the coming of the Holy Spirit with the celebration of Pentecost. After we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord next weekend on the 29th (transferred from Thursday the 26th), we’ll celebrate Pentecost on June 5th. These days leading up to Pentecost are a good time for us to pray for greater openness to the Spirit’s activity in our lives. For example, do we follow the inspirations of the Spirit when we feel inspired to pray or act? Do we allow ourselves to be convicted by the Holy Spirit when we’ve fallen into sin? Do we ask the Holy Spirit to help us remember the teachings of Jesus? Do we pray for the strength to fight against temptation, the strength which comes from the Spirit? The Holy Spirit is eager to come to our help. Likewise, let’s be eager to allow the Holy Spirit to make His dwelling in our mind and heart; He is our Advocate, God’s constant presence with us. God bless,
The Peace which Jesus gives His Disciples
In today’s Gospel, Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” This 14th chapter of St. John’s Gospel, along with John 15 and 16, are part of Jesus’ Last Supper discourses, also known as His Farewell discourses (because He would soon be parted from His disciples in His passion and death). The peace which Jesus gives His disciples is meant to strengthen their hearts for what’s to come. They would be distressed by the news of His passion and death; and His peace would be needed in order to help them hold on to faith and hope in light of the “scandal” of the Cross. But what is this peace which Jesus gave His disciples? It’s not simply the absence of trial or turmoil – after all, there would be plenty of that for them to experience in Jesus’ passion and death. Rather, Jesus’ peace is ultimately the presence of God. If they choose to live within that gift of peace, they can trust that God is in control. But if they choose to exit that peace through worry, their faith would begin to waver and they would begin to question whether God was actually in control. Peace is also a fruit of the Holy Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23), so it’s no wonder Jesus speaks about His peace after talking about the coming of the Holy Spirit. God wants peace for us. Jesus gives us His gift of supernatural peace in order to strengthen us and help us remember that God is with us. Will we choose to live within the peace which He gave to His disciples, or will we choose worry instead? The choice is pretty clear: choose to live within Jesus’ gift of peace; choose to live with faith in God’s providential care; worry won’t do us any good. May we receive the peace of Jesus; may that peace dwell within our hearts and minds; and may we trust that God is always in control of every situation.