Commentary on the Gospel of
In today’s gospel, Jesus is calling his disciples, and us, to witness to the truth. He tells us that he will be sending the Spirit so that we know what the truth is. In our diocese, the young people in high school have been preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation. Soon they will receive the Holy Spirit in a very special liturgy, in front of their sponsors and families. For some, this may mark the end of their formal education in the Catholic faith and others will continue learning and strengthening their understanding and faith as they finish high school and perhaps through college. Whether their formal education continues or not, for each of these young people there is a call to witness in the way they live their lives and the Spirit will be with them to help discern that call and to provide them with the wisdom and strength to follow the call.
The Holy Spirit dwells in each of us and we are called to witness also. For a few that call may be in preaching or teaching; for even fewer it may be a call to give the ultimate sacrifice of their lives as did many of the disciples. For the vast majority of us, that call is to witness in the manner in which we conduct ourselves at work, at home, in service to others and in our recreation. It is a call to live counter culturally, to always put the other person first in a society that emphasizes personal freedom even to the detriment of others. It is a call to show respect for the dignity and presence of the Holy Spirit in each individual. It is a call to share the joy of God’s love for us - and our love for him - in all that we are and all that we do.
It is humbling to think that the Holy Spirit dwells within us and provides us with the courage and wisdom to fulfill our own personal call. All we have to do is listen, acknowledge and depend on that holy presence. But how often do we forget or even make a deliberate decision to ignore the call of the Spirit? How often do we go along with the crowd away from the Spirit’s guidance rather than take the lead in the direction to which we are called?
Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Breathe into me, Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Move in me, Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Attract my heart, Holy Spirit, that I may love only what is holy.
Strengthen me, Holy Spirit, that I may defend all that is holy.
Protect me, Holy Spirit, that I may always be holy.