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Father Muench Says...

‘The Holy Spirit transforms our world’

April 21, 2021

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

Easter leads to Pentecost. The Easter Season prepares us for the coming of the Holy Spirit. As we celebrate the resurrection and ascension of our Lord, Jesus, we believe and celebrate that Jesus reaches out to God the Father to send to our world the Holy Spirit. This Holy Spirit transforms our world and formed our Church.

The Holy Spirit continues to guide our Church with power and wisdom. Jesus promised the apostles the coming of the Holy Spirit at the Last Supper. During that Last Supper, we learn from the Gospel of St. John that Jesus spoke an extensive discourse to the apostles – chapters 14- 17. This discourse presents the most powerful words of Jesus recorded in the Gospels. Today, I would like to share with you the message of Jesus’ discourse at the Last Supper.

Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit as an Advocate. The Holy Spirit comes to support and lead us as a Church. Jesus says this: “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.” (John 14)

Jesus promises that this Holy Spirit will always stand with is and speak for us as the Church of Jesus. The Holy Spirit truly represents us. Jesus says, “I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, that the Father will send in his name; he will teach you everything and remind you of all I told you.” (John 15)

The Holy Spirit will bring God’s message – a message of truth and love and a transformative message that God loves each and every one of us. Jesus says: “But I tell you the truth. It is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 16:7)

Jesus continues in this discourse to tell the apostles that the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, will teach them even more. The Holy Spirit guides them, these apostles, and Christians of all time, to the truth. Jesus says: “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of Truth, he will guide you to all truth…He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:12)

Jesus concludes his discourse with a prayer. He prays for his apostles and disciples as he prepares them for their future ministry. He knows that he will disturb them by being arrested and tortured and crucified.

With the help of the Holy Spirit, the apostles will realize that Jesus’ sufferings were a necessary part of his mission and life here on this earth. They must realize that Jesus demonstrates God’s great love for all people through his passion and death. They also will be called to give of themselves, even suffer, as they lead the formation of this Church.

The Prayer of Jesus: “They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. Consecrate them in the truth. You word is truth. As you send me into the world, so I send them into the world. And I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth.” (John 17)

Then Jesus prays for us, for all who will find faith and love for Our Savior, all who walk with Jesus throughout the centuries. Jesus prays: “I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one.” (John 17)

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