Today’s Gospel: John 16:5-11
Optional Memorial of Saints Nereus and Achilleus, Martyrs
Optional Memorial of Saint Pancras, Martyr
Before he allowed himself to be arrested, Jesus knew that his disciples were sad and fearful to be left alone. To comfort them, he told them that they would receive greater blessings when “the Advocate” (the Holy Spirit) came. After Pentecost, they would be emboldened to fulfill Christ’s mission that they baptize all nations.
Of the three persons of the Trinity, I neglect the Holy Spirit most in my prayers. I feel a stronger connection with the Incarnate Christ whom I can see represented on the cross or made present in the Eucharist. I relate to God the Father as a daughter. I struggle to feel the same deep connection with the Holy Spirit.
I tend to take for granted that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are available to me through the sacrament of confirmation. The same Holy Spirit who helped the disciples to speak truth, baptize all nations, and spread the gospel to the four corners of the earth in the face of martyrdom is equally available to us today. I am embarrassed to admit that I often forget to call upon “the Advocate” sent for all of us.
I recently learned that Satan is our accuser (Revelation 12:10). His sole purpose is to accuse us of our sin, putting us on trial, and trying to drive a wedge between ourselves and God. He wants us to believe the lie that we are hopeless wretches undeserving of God’s infinite mercy. The Holy Spirit can be translated as Counselor, Advocate, or Helper. The Holy Spirit stands alongside us, defending us as we battle through sin on our journeys toward sainthood. We need only pray, “Come, Holy Spirit!”
Am I neglecting the Holy Spirit in my prayer life? Do I believe the accuser’s lies, or do I trust in the Advocate to strengthen me against his attacks?
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Catherine Boucher