Tuesday, August 4, 2020 at 9:57 AM
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The Holy Spirit

In his dialog with Nicodemus in John’s Gospel, Jesus responds to Nicodemus’ profession of faith in Jesus’ divine origin saying that no one can recognize Jesus unless he is “born again…of water and the Spirit.”  (Jn. 3:7).   In this Jesus connects two of the Sacraments of Initiation celebrated during this Season of Easter, Baptism and Confirmation linking the two with rebirth in the Spirit.   Nicodemus, the Pharisee admirer of Jesus is perplexed by Jesus’ phrase to be “born again”, Jesus gives the characteristic of the unbridled power of the Holy Spirit; “the wind blows where it wills” (Jn. 3:8).   Here we discover a descriptive of the action of the Third Person of the Trinity, the Spirit of God, whose action in the Church blows life in abundance with a force that jolts new life into the disciples the Lord Jesus.   Indeed the great Gift from God the Most High, promised by the Lord Jesus is as Pope Leo XIII called Him, “the Soul of the Church”.   During the Season of Easter parishes are celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation, the laying on of hands to impart this Divine Indwelling completing the initiation of young Catholics.  

The mysterious presence of the Holy Spirit both enlightens the mind to recognize the truth, to distinguish between good and evil and to understand the realities of faith.  Thereby the Christian is able to dispel the darkness of ignorance and open his eyes to the light of faith.   This becomes necessary both to see the presence of the Lord in the Church, in his disciples, in those who suffer, and indeed in our daily life, but it also illuminates the mind to become a responsible moral agents to able to recognize right from wrong, thereby forming our conscience in the spirit of holiness.  

The Spirit of God at the same time inspires the will assisting the Christian to choose the good and avoid evil in all moral situations, whenever a moral decision is to be made.   To do this the Spirit reinforces the virtues of prudence, justice, temperance (moderation) and fortitude.  

Like the powerful force of wind, the presence of which is felt but destructive force is often overwhelming, the Holy Spirit too, is felt through the Church and constantly destroys the barriers of sin and evil within those called to be holy as Christ’s disciples.   As many of our young people are experiencing the power of the Spirit of God rush through them like the Apostles did at that first Pentecost, we pray that through this anointing they become rooted deeply in the faith that is still maturing in them, able to resist the power of evil and overcome the temptations that will pull them away from the Lord’s loving embrace.   May the Holy Spirit enflame in them the fire of God’s love so that they may become courageous witnesses of Jesus Christ.   May the power of the Spirit of God blow through the hearts of all believers and renew the faith of the Church. 

Fr. Vasquez

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