Home Page Home Page Events Events Photos Photos Diocese of Ogdensburg Home Page  
Follow Us on Facebook


Father Muench Says...

‘Holy Spirit leads and guides in love’

May 17, 2023

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

Each year as the Church’s Liturgical year approaches Pentecost, I start writing to you something about the Holy Spirit. I realize that you all know a great deal that our Church teaches us Catholics about the Holy Spirit. My hope is that you have experienced the power of the Holy Spirit in your life. I pray that the Holy Spirit has guided you and lead you in many ways.

Recently, I attended our parish Mass for the Bishop’s visit to confer the sacrament of confirmation on sixty of our high school students. So, I have been thinking a great deal about the Holy Spirit this week. My personal prayer at that ceremony was that this sacrament of confirmation with the gift of the Holy Spirit would have a powerful effect on the lives of these students. I prayed that these young people would make a difference in their part of the world even now.

I have taught many classes on the Holy Spirit over the years. In addition, I remember well proclaiming many homilies on the gift of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit’s readiness to transform each of us as disciples of the Lord. I am certain that each time I prepared, I have gone to the Gospels, especially the Gospel of St. John. I have no doubt that St. John had developed an intense love for the Holy Spirit.

St. John remembered well the words of Jesus at the Last Supper as Jesus taught the apostles the promise of the Holy Spirit coming to lead them and prepare them as they formed and built our Catholic Church. St. John writes in the chapters 14 to 17 of his Gospel, the words of Jesus at the Last Supper. This section of John’s Gospel is called Jesus’ Discourse at the Last Supper. St. John remembers for us Jesus words of love and concern for his apostles and his promise of the Holy Spirit to them, this gift of the Holy Spirit to the peoples of all time.

John tells us of Jesus’ great joy at the promise of the Holy Spirit and the Lord’s challenge that we all would be a people of love. Here are the words of Jesus: “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is my commandment to love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

I want to encourage you to remember that “laying down one’s life” may mean dying for a few. Yet, for most of us, “laying down your life” will mean that as followers of Jesus we will be called to live for others just as Jesus did.
The Gospels make it clear for us that our association with the Holy Spirit changes our relationship with Our Lord Jesus. Jesus makes it clear that Holy Spirit leads and guides in love that Jesus wants to be our friend, a friend to each one of us.

Here again from John 15, the words of Jesus: “You are my friends if you do what I command you. I have called you friends because I have told you everything, I have heard from my Father.”

It seems almost too much for us to comprehend: the Lord Jesus wants to be our friend. Jesus wants us to be his friend. How this transforms our relationship with the Lord! St. John goes on to make it clear that it was Jesus who chose us and gives to us a new commandment: “This I command you – love one another.”

Now, I must personally recognize that my challenge is to convince these newly confirmed young people that Jesus truly wants to be their friend and, as such, wants to lead them so that they follow Jesus and live well as his disciples and be examples of loving and concerned people, a guide to all they meet.

North Country Catholic North Country Catholic is
honored by Catholic Press
Association of US & Canada

Copyright © Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg. All rights reserved.