Readings for July 19, 2020
Wisdom 12:13, 16-19
Psalm 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16
Romans 8: 26-27
Jesus promised never to abandon us, and he fulfilled this promise by leaving us with an advocate, a counselor, a friend, a Paraclete–the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the outpouring of the love between Father and Son and the completion of the Trinity. Yet, admittedly, all too often I render the Holy Spirit to the background as a mysteriously vague, real but not fully understood presence. And that is a shortcoming to my faith.
The Bible tells us of the gifts of the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 11:2-4) and the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:23-24), but today’s reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans tells us of the amazingly powerful intercession of the Holy Spirit. “The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness,” praying when we cannot even utter an intelligible prayer.
I remember a few years ago, when my family surrounded my mother as she was dying, I found myself unable to be anything but sad. It was painful and difficult to watch her dying. Not at all at ease with my sadness, I had to turn away in tears. I tried to pray but could not think of or speak even a rote prayer. But the Holy Spirit interceded to show me the love of Christ. My dad was a rock of strength, whispering to his dying wife to “Go to God. He’s calling you.” Even through my pain I could see the joy of my dad ushering the woman he loved to her home with God. And I knew then, and still know now, that it was the working of the Holy Spirit that brought forth that message of joy.
This is the power of the Holy Spirit. Working on our behalf as our advocate, reminding us of the joy that awaits those who are faithful, and hopeful to the promises of Christ. More often than I do, I need to ask the Holy Spirit to intercede and gift me with his presence. It is a life-giving and hope-filling presence and I need that in my life. Come, Holy Spirit, come.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful and kindle in them the fire of Your love. Amen