Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Action of the Spirit

Acts 8:5-8,14-17; Psalm 66 Let all the earth cry out to god with Joy; 1 Peter 3:15-18; John 14:15-21

We have been reading over the season of Easter from the Acts of the Apostles.  The acts of the Apostles details not os much what the Apostles are doing but rather what the action of the Spirit looks like in the Apostles as they journey forth.

It isn't so much what the Spirit is doing to the apostles and the Early Church but rather what the Holy Spirit is doing with them.  The Acts of the Apostles or the action of the Spirit is about how Jesus becomes king, his kingdom begins to reign and be established on earth.

Jesus influence touches the corners of the world by and through the lives of men and women of faith.

The Holy Spirit is called the paraclete or the prosecutor: the Spirit through men and women of faith engage the powers of the word and pass judgment on them through the power of speech, word.  This is why St Peter says in today's second reading we should give a explanation for our hope.  Just as a prosecutor tries to persuade the jury so we by our life and words seek to persuade the world of God's invitation to life and love.

The Action of the Spirit is to sanctify Christ as Lord in our heats.  That is to make in our hearts a place for Jesus to reign, to give direction, to give guidance so that His spirit triumphs over the spirit of the world in our personal lives.   Peter ask us to dedicate our heart to the Lord.  In the first century our heart was the center of life which included our emotions, desires, intelligence and reason, will, and sensibilities.

All of this is meant to be ruled by Jesus and his Spirit.  How often do we let the Spirit of the world rule our emotions and will and desires.

St Peter ges on to say that we should be always ready to give explanation to anyone who asks for a reason for our hope."  The word hope is used for expectations.

How often I have met with couples struggling in marriage and leaning toward divorce and many of them will tell me, "This is not what I expected."  What marriage life had become is not what they expected.  I ask them, "what did you expect?"  Then i remind them of their vows.  The vows are beautiful.  The vows made are about true expectations, the expectations we have should always be expansive and all encompassing and never narrow and restrictive,: "good times and bad, sickness and health, love and honor all the days of my life."  The problem is that most couples don't expect enough.  The expectations they have are set by themselves and not by the Spirit of God at work in and through them.    We are told that all things work for Good for those who love God.  Out side of abuse and harm, we should expect more and more to unfold with the Sprit's guidance.

The Spirit is describes at the Advocate in today's gospel.  The word advocate means prosecutor, the one who plead another's cause.  The Spirit is pleading Jesus's cause in and through our life to the world.  Our life of love passes judgment on the spirit of the world.   We can to be of the world if we are called to transform it by life in the Spirit.

Lastly Jesus tells us that, "And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him."  In loving him, we come to meet him.   Think about that.  We don't wait to love until we encounter Jesus.  Rather in loving as he commanded we open ourselves up to encountering him deeply and truly in our life.  In loving him he reveals himself to us.  What a gift and blessing for us as we allow the Spirit of God, the action of the Spirit to influence our heart, our emotions, our desires, our intelligence, reason and will.  

 Todays gospel ends on verse  21 of chapter 14 of John's gospel.  But if you read the next verse Judas of Iscariot ask Jesus, "how is it you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world."  Jesus' answer is simple.  Through us, the world we will come to know him.  As we love him and he reveals himself to us then he also reveals himself to the world.  This is the action of the Spirit at work in our lives.

What does Jesus want?  He wants  the world to encounter him.  How does that happen?  It happens though us who believe and love as he commands.  And this is our expectation, our hope, our life and joy inner daily journey.


Acts 6:1-7; Psalm 33 Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you; 1 Peter 2:4-9;  John 14:1-12

"So that you may announce the praise of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."

"Whoever believes in me will do the works I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father."

Today in Mexico, Mother's day is celebrated.  This weekend we shall gather to celebrate Mother's day in the US. Many countries throughout the world have set aside a day to honor and give thanks for Mother's.

Poems and songs and reflections and homilies and catchy phrases all abound in an attempt to show gratitude and honor to the mother in our life, our families, our society, an din the world around.

Mother's provide for us our first home.  The womb welcomes us in the the most vulnerable of times, the most essential of times in growth and development, in our need for security and comfort, in our desire for life and love in the womb we find that place offered to us as we begin to become ourselves.

What can there be said about Mother's that has not already been said?  What can be written that has already not been written?

When it comes to mother's originality is not important for each mother is original.  The mother is sent as the original ambassador of life and love.  Some seek it out.  Some long for it.  Some refuse it.  Some welcome it.  Some cherish it.  Some hide it.  Some embrace it.  Some scorn it.

Motherhood and mothers like Christ have received praise and rejoicing and back lash and cursing.  It is a strange reality we find ourselves in at this time in history.

But we pause to take notice on this mother's day of the office of love motherhood fulfills and we are grateful.

Blessings to all mothers.