Prov 8:22-31; Rom 5:1-5. Jn 16:12-15
A. Invoking the Holy Spirit
We invoke the Holy Spirit using the words of St. Augustine.
Come, Holy Spirit, by whom every devout soul, who believes in Christ, is sanctified to become a citizen of the City of God! (en. Ps. 45:8) Come, Holy Spirit, grant that we receive the motions of God, put in us your flame, enlighten us, and raise us up to God (s. 128,4).
With the heart well disposed, with serenity, read slowly the following words, savoring them and allowing yourself to be touched by them. (Jn. 16:12-15)
Jesus said to his disciples: “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.”
Let us now meditate on these words of the Gospel according to St. John.
The Old Testament mind could not think of Three Persons in One God. Yahweh had to train his people to think first in only One God and only after some time introduce them into his mystery. In 1 Cor 1:24 St Paul tells us that “Christ is the power and the wisdom of God.” But the O.T. mind could not conceive of another person in God, so that he conceived of Wisdom as “brought forth”, i.e. created by God. John 1:1-3 would say: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be.” He was with God “when there were no depths,…no fountains or springs,…before the earth,…before the mountains,…before the hills.” The Word was with God and was God before creation. In the act of creation the Word was there. Prov 8:27-29, “When he established the heavens I was there, when he marked out the vault over the face of the deep; when he made firm the skies above, when he fixed fast the foundations of the earth; when he set the sea its limits, so the waters should not transgress his command; then I was beside him as his craftsman.” In the O.T. the personified Wisdom was a creature, existing before creation and at creation she was with God as craftsman. In John the Word is consubstantial with the Father and Co-Creator with him. Prov 8:22-31 prepared us to accept the Word as the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.
In the second reading, through our faith in Jesus we have been justified and are at peace with God the Father and the Holy Spirit who is the love of the Father for the Son “has been poured into our hearts.” Because of the presence of the Three Divine Persons in us we rejoice in suffering like the martyrs, become strong of proven character and are always full of hope.
Jesus had said “The Father and I are one” (Jn 10:30); “I am in the Father and the Father is in me” (Jn 14:11). And therefore, “I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak”… So what I say, I say as the Father told me” (Jn 12:49-50); “The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his work” (Jn14:10b); “the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me” (Jn 14:24). It is clear that before the Pentecost the Apostles were actually hearing the words of the Father through Jesus, and could not fully comprehend all his teachings. Jesus tells them not to worry because another Advocate will come who will make them understand all his words, “the Spirit of Truth… will guide you to all truth.” Just as Jesus spoke the words of the Father now the Spirit of Truth will make clear Jesus’ words to them. In the Gospel we see the Word of the Father revealed to us in Jesus and now will be clarified for us by the Spirit of Truth. While in the second reading we see the Three Divine Persons bringing to fullness our justification by faith in Jesus, in the Gospel we see the Word from the Father given to us through Jesus, and now being brought to fullness in us by the action of the Holy Spirit. It should be clear to us now that the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity were involved in the creation of the world, now they are involved in the salvation of this world. Our God is always with us from creation through to salvation. There should be no place for atheism or agnosticism. Rather we should be able to see God always at work among us keeping us in existence by his creative power and always loving us by effecting our salvation.
At the Annunciation the Angel said to Mary, “you have found favor with God” referring to the Father; then her child would be called “Son of the Most High” and “Son of God”; and the “Holy Spirit will come upon you” and “the power of the Most High will over shadow you.” We see the three divine Persons active at the start of our salvation. Then when Jesus began his ministry, after he was baptized by John, the Holy Spirit appeared as a Dove hovering over him, and the Voice of the Father was heard saying, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” Again the three Divine Persons are actively involved in Jesus’ work for our salvation. We were baptized “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” By the sign of the Cross we bless ourselves “In the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” We are created and saved by the Three Divine Persons. Glory, praise and honor be to our God. Amen.
“The Spirit of truth will guide you to all truth”
Am I sensitive to the motions of the Holy Spirit?
- “He will speak what he hears.”
- Am I convinced that to be open to the Spirit is to be open to Jesus?
Contemplate your own baptism, how the Holy Spirit comes down on you as a Dove and the Voice of the Father claims you as his own son. Adore and glorify the Blessed Trinity.
- As you bless yourself, contemplate the Three Divine Persons sanctifying and blessing you.
F. Final Prayer of St. Augustine.
Turning towards the Lord: Lord God, Father Almighty, with pure heart, as far as our littleness permits, allow us to give you our most devoted and sincere thanks, begging with all our strength from your particular goodness, that by your power you may drive away the enemy from all our thoughts and actions; that you may increase our faith, govern our mind, give us spiritual thoughts, and bring us to your happiness, through your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, who with you lives and reigns, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen (en. Ps. 150:8).