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Come Holy Spirit!
Sixth Sunday of Easter
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”
Opening Prayer: Come Holy Spirit! Grant me the grace to hear and respond to your gentle promptings and help me to keep Christ’s commandments.
- The Paraclete: Jesus has given us an Advocate, the Holy Spirit, to abide with us forever. The Spirit prompts us to do God’s will and never seems to tire of inspiring us to grow in virtue, even though we fail day after day to fully cooperate. How blessed we are to be accompanied by the Spirit. Although we are weak, let’s recommit ourselves to do our part to grow in virtue, as St. Paul recommends: “…make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion, devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love” (1 Peter 5-7). When we are trying to please God, we can be confident that the Spirit strengthens us beyond our expectations.
- I Will Not Leave You Orphans: Jesus’s words are such a comfort to us, and remind us that we are sons and daughters of God the Father. Our family extends beyond our temporal experience to include the saints in heaven, the suffering souls in purgatory, even the Holy Family itself! All are orphaned who do not know Jesus or who have rejected him. May our hearts be filled with compassion for them so that we can put aside judgment or prejudice and reach out beyond our comfort zone to invite the orphaned into our blessed family.
- Observing the Commandments: The Ten Commandments were written on stone tablets and given to Moses to help an unruly people find their way back to God. Thirteen hundred years later, Jesus told the Jews that they could prove their love for him and God the Father by adhering to these same commandments. Today, the Ten Commandments are part of a frieze on the walls and doors of the Supreme Court, and James Madison, our country’s fourth president, said, “We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” Like any good parent, Our Lord knew that all people benefit by living these ten simple rules of life. They inform all of our actions as Christians.
Conversing with Christ: Thank you Lord for sending the Advocate to accompany and strengthen me. When life gets noisy, confusing, or difficult, I can be assured by your word that my adherence to the Ten Commandments pleases you. You have promised to reveal yourself to me as I strive to love you by obeying your Ten Commandments. There can be no greater reward this side of eternity.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I resolve to spend five minutes reading the Ten Commandments as an examination of conscience.
For Further Reflection: Check out this brief examination of conscience based on the Ten Commandments.
Written by Maribeth Harper