Commentary on the Gospel of
Acts 19:1-8; John 16:29-33
Knowing the Holy Spirit
“We have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit” (Acts 19:2). There are many beautiful descriptions of the Holy Spirit: Advocate, the Love that binds the Father and the Son, the soul of the Church. But, how many Christians actually know Her - in Hebrew the word for “spirit” is feminine. She is called by some theologians “the forgotten God”. Although invisible like the Father, Her artistic work can be seen in the saints of the Church. Her most beautiful icon is the Blessed Virgin Mary.
In the Creed, we call Her - the Lord and the Giver of Life. At the beginning of creation we see the Spirit hovering over the chaotic primordial waters (Gen 1:1-2). We see Her again hovering over the subsiding waters of the Flood in the form of a dove (Gen 8:8-12). In the form of a dove, She is also hovering over the waters of the Jordan river during the baptism of Christ (Mark 1:10) and over the baptismal waters in which we are being immersed to be born from above. In the sacrament of baptism, the Spirit enters our inmost being and becomes the pledge of our heavenly inheritance. With Her in our hearts, we can confidently call the Almighty our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
The prayer, “Come Holy Spirit and renew the face of the earth”, was uttered In 1979 by Saint Paul John II in Warsaw, the capital of Poland still in the firm grip of communism. Ten years later, in 1989, the communism was gone from the maps of Europe. Freedom of religion came back and Poland joined the company of free nations that without fear can sing to God.
Get to know the Holy Spirit, Her transforming, life-giving power, Her gifts and fruits, and your life will never be the same.