We need the power of the Holy Spirit to lead us from the error of our sinful ways and to show us the way of love and truth.


There is always so much anticipation for some of the Liturgical Feasts like Christmas and Easter. Somehow we never had that same anticipation for Pentecost and yet it is a very significant feast, the coming of the Holy Spirit. In today’s gospel we hear Christ telling the apostles, “It is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you.”
Where is this “court” in which the Advocate exercises this role? It is in the hearts of the disciples, all those who come to faith in Jesus (“the Spirit of truth . . . will be in you.”). In the face of the world’s boasting, the Holy Spirit gives them the eyes to see how things really are.

When we look around us, it is easy to be tempted to doubt the promises of Jesus, to wonder where He is in a world that seems so far from Him, to question whether the death and resurrection of Jesus has had any real impact in the world at all. Only the Holy Spirit, who dwells within believers, can assist us to see the effects of not believing in Jesus, to proclaim the triumph of Jesus and the defeat of Satan. In moments of doubt, let’s allow a prayer to the Holy Spirit to come to our hearts, the Holy Spirit who remains our Advocate and helps us see the truth of how things are, even when our world seems upside down.
In the first reading, we see that Paul and Silas—although beaten, chained and imprisoned unjustly—praised God! Not only were they freed, but their jailer and his household were baptized. Elsewhere, we are told: ‘In all circumstances give thanks for this is the will of God’. We can all sing praises to God during the good times. But it is when the going gets tough that we need choose to offer what will be a ‘sacrifice of praise’.
By warning His disciples of bad times ahead, Jesus intended that, when troubles came, as they certainly would, they would not come as a surprise. He didn’t tell them sooner, because He was there with them to teach, guide and comfort them. The message for us here, as well, is that we shouldn’t worry about when troubles might be coming to us, or when they will end, because we know that troubles can work towards our good spiritual health. In His sufferings, Christ looked towards fulfilling scripture; and so should we, His followers, in ours. It is a common fault and folly of melancholy Christians to look only on the dark side of the cloud, losing hope in God.

We know the impact made on the apostles when they received the Holy Spirit. They moved from being fearful men, cowering in the upper room, to brave individuals tirelessly proclaiming The Word and founding the Church. The Holy Spirit is our Sanctifier. He makes us holy as God is holy. He does this first by convicting us of our sin and by bringing us humbly to the foot of the Cross. The Spirit convinces us of God’s love and forgiveness and of our utter dependence on God for his mercy and grace. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to lead us from the error of our sinful ways and to show us the way of love and truth. After we receive gifts, we generally give thanks, either verbally or in writing. How would we ever express our thanksgiving for all of the many gifts received from the Holy Spirit throughout our lives? Where would we ever begin? And the gifts keep on coming!

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