Thursday of the Second Week of Easter Father Steven Reilly, LC
The one who comes from above is above all. The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things. But the one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy. For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God. He does not ration his gift of the Spirit. The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.
Introductory Prayer: I come before you, Lord, poor and unworthy. Yet you welcome me with such love. With my effort during this meditation I want to make a small return on your great kindness.
Petition: Help me to cooperate with your greatest gift, the Holy Spirit.
1. No Rationing: Jesus does not ration the gift of the Spirit. By and through the Holy Spirit, Christ lifts our whole life to another plane. The Lord's generosity is amazing. Think of the Eucharist. Every time we receive the Lord, he leaves in our soul a renewal and deepening of the Holy Spirit's presence. With every communion we are preparing our bodies and souls for the immortality of the Resurrection. Of course, such a gift invites a response. In the face of such generosity, how can we be stingy in return?
2. A Gift of Unity: The gift of the Spirit is vital for our human relationships. Jesus' ardent prayer at the Last Supper was for the unity of his disciples: "that they all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you" (John 17:21). For a unity like that, the Holy Spirit is absolutely indispensable. The gift of the Spirit, in order to be effective, provides the antidote for all our tendencies to disunity. The Spirit combats our pride and egotism by reminding us of Christ's humility. He stirs up the realization that we have to live in charity and provides us with the strength to give without counting the cost. He enables us to persevere in unity.
3. A Personal Gift: The depths of our hearts is where we ultimately experience this gift of the Spirit. But at times we feel more like a dry well than a spring of water welling up to eternal life (cf. John 4:14). The Holy Spirit is at work — in abundance — no less in the moments of dryness than in the moments of consolation. He seeks to purify us of the petty attachments that hold us back. He directs us to seek God for his own sake and not to turn to him only as a divine dispenser of spiritual candy. But still, we should await the moment of consolation with the hope-filled knowledge that the Lord is near. When we experience this consolation, we will experience confirmation that the Lord's gift of the Spirit is unlike any other!
Conversation with Christ: Lord, the Holy Spirit is the soul of Church. He is the gift you have given us with such generosity. Help us to live more in accord with this truth. Help us to be obedient when we are tempted to pride. Help us to love when we are tempted to reject. May your Holy Spirit constantly reinforce the bond that holds us together.