Themes of 5th, 6th , & 7thwks of Easter
Before we arrive at Pentecost and enter into the ordinary time of the year, it might be good to look at the Gospel readings which Mother Church has wanted us to reflect on. Monday of the 5th week, we are introduced to the other Advocate whom Jesus will ask the Father to give to his disciples. He will “be with you always. The Spirit of truth… remains with you and will be in you” (Jn 14:16-17). Note well the prepositions: ‘with’ and ‘in’; he accompanies us as a guide (as Raphael was to Tobiah), but also he is within us as our interior teacher; and he communicates ‘truth’.Jn 14:18, “I will not leave you orphans” because the Spirit of Jesus will be with us and in us, to accompany and teach us.Jn 14:26, “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name,” he is the second Person of the Holy Trinity, and is being sent by the Father to us in Jesus’ name. “He will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you,” for his gifts include wisdom, understanding, knowledge and counsel. Jn 15:26, “When the Advocate comes whom I send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me.” He proceeds from the Father and is being sent by the Son to us; what greater gift can we ask for? Because he comes from the Father and the Son! As the Father had sent the Son to save us, now both of them send the Holy Spirit as our guide and interior teacher. As he testifies to Jesus, he enables us testify to Jesus. Even after the ascension there may be moments of grief “but your grief will become joy” (Jn 16:20) because the Holy Spirit who is to come is our Consoler.Jn 16:6, “When he comes he will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation;” of sin for its refusal to believe in Jesus, of righteousness because Jesus has triumphed and has returned to the Father, of condemnation because through the death of Jesus satan is defeated and condemned. Jn 16:13 “He will guide you to all truth…v.14 He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.” No wonder the Catholic Church has preserved truthfully the Apostolic Tradition received from Jesus, because the Holy Spirit is the Teacher and Reminder. On our part, let us be faithful to the Magisterium knowing that the Holy Spirit is the Church’s Teacher and Guide. We also need to constantly invoke the Holy Spirit for his flame of Pentecost that gives light to the mind and warmth to the heart that we may see the things of heaven and love them. Even while on earth his light enables us to see everything in reference to heaven and use them as befits our salvation. With this light and love in us, whatever we ask the Father in Jesus’ name will be granted (Jn 16:23 & 26) because we will ask only the things that are in accord with our salvation not contrary to it. Let this be our disposition as we await the day of Pentecost.
Fr. Bert Decena, OAR/ May 10 2016