Scripture: Lectionary 432. I Corinthians 2:10-16. Psalm
145:8-9.10-11.12-13.13-14. Luke 4:31-37:
Paul is very much aware of the Spirit (spirit of power, wisdom, etc.).
In fact, he uses this word almost fifty percent of its appearance in
the New Testament. Together with Luke, these two inspired writers have
a corner on the market when it comes to the Spirit. “The Spirit for
him (Paul), is God’s gift of his creative, prophetic, or renovative
presence to human beings or the world, and it is better left in the
undetermined state.” (Fitzmeyer, NJBC, 82:65, page 1396).
Paul is a pastoral theologian who is inspired by the Holy Spirit to
write his epistles for the wellbeing of the Christian communities. He
knows their struggles with the new faith and is there to help them
through these struggles. The Spirit is at work in Paul both in his
apostolic work and in his inspired writings. Today we have a prime
example of how convincing and perceptive are his thoughts about the
Spirit of God, of Christ, or simply the Spirit. We do not have a
developed presentation of the Trinity but we do have the triad of
these titles for God that lead to the development of theological
teachings of the Church about the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy
Spirit. The Gospel of Matthew reflects that it is through Baptism
that we become people of faith who are named in the persons of the
Trinity. (Matthew 28:19).
We should spend some time in meditating on the paragraph that we have
in our first reading. It is the Spirit who will lead us to pray with
attention, open heartedness, and reverence. We learn about God and
Jesus through the influence of the Spirit in our lives. We are called
to life in the Spirit. Jesus’ words in the Gospel are Spirit filled
and the inspiration of the Evangelists comes directly from the Spirit.
Paul shows that the Spirit works in our discernments of what is right
and how to accomplish the plan of God in our personal and
communitarian lives. We come to realize that we have gifts and graces
that come to us through the Holy Spirit at our Baptism. We are led to
interpret and ponder spiritual realities in spiritual terms. The
Holy Spirit helps us to believe in the mystery of the Trinity: in God
as Creator, in Jesus as Redeemer, in the Spirit as Sanctifier. The
Holy Spirit is involved intimately in the cooperation of the Virgin
Mary with the mystery of the Incarnation. She is overshadowed like
the ark of the covenant and thereby gives flesh to the Word of God,
Jesus. We learn that all things are possible with God through the
power of the Spirit.
God as Creator and Parent (Father/Mother) is presented to us in Psalm
145:17 : “The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of
great kindness! The Lord is good to all and compassionate toward all
We learn from the Gospel of Luke today (Luke is the Evangelist of the
Holy Spirit) that Jesus is the one who through the power of the Spirit
casts out unclean spirits. We pray, therefore, Come, Holy Spirit,
sanctify us. Fill our hearts with burning desire for the Truth, the
Way and the fullness of Life. Enkindle in us thy fire which alone we
are not able to come to the Light which enlightens, warms, and
comforts us. Let our heavy tongues discover words which enable us to
speak of your love and beauty. Renew us, that we may become persons
who love your holy and transparent Word of God. Then will we renew
the face of this earth and all will be made new. Come, Holy Spirit,
heal us, strengthen us, and remain with us. Amen.
Copyright 2012 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.