JN 14: 15-21

A young priest preached on Easter morning with the opening words: “Christ is risen! So what?” It is easy to merely flow through the Easter season and not really delve in its meaning. What does Easter truly entail for me and you today?

To believe in the Resurrection, and to celebrate this season, means that we need to understand and accept several important elements. First, it is to believe that Christ Crucified has been raised from the dead.  Second, that his Resurrection has a deep significance for the world for it is the Good News! Third, the Risen Christ can be encountered only through the power of the Holy Spirit. Lastly, the Resurrection is discovered, celebrated and lived with others in the community of the church.

The Resurrection of the Lord Jesus shines a bright light on the Holy Spirit. He is the Gift of Jesus to his disciples on that first Easter day. The gospel today asserts that the Holy Spirit is the Promise, the coming Paraclete or Advocate of every believer. What it means is that the Holy Spirit is our True Friend in the spiritual life, who stands by our side. We know him through Jesus, but we also know him through our moments of encounter with him.

We may no longer see the Lord Jesus as the early disciples did, beholding him, listening to him and touching him. But Jesus insists “you will see me…” in the power of the Holy Spirit. With the Holy Spirit to help us, we continue to be connected with Jesus and with the Father. But the problem today is whether we notice the Holy Spirit, whether we strive to know him and get closer to him? Do we even feel him as “sweet Guest of our souls” and “friend of our heart” as tradition describes?

In today’s world we contend with spirits. The spirit of the world aggressively invades our hearts. The evil spirit continues to assault our faith. And many spirits or movements of our heart confuse us and lead us astray. This is the time we really need the Holy Spirit and we thank the Lord Jesus for sharing him with us this Easter and always.

Take time this week to pray this simple prayer by St. Augustine: Breathe on me, O Holy Spirit that my thought may all be holy. Act in me, O Holy Spirit that my work too, may be holy. Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit that I may love but what is holy. Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit to defend all that is holy. Guard me then, O Holy Spirit that I may always be holy. Amen.

ourparishpriest 2023