Acts 17:15, 22–18:1
Ps 148:1-2, 11-14
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“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 not speak on his own,
but he will speak what he hears,
and will declare to you the things that are coming.
He will glorify me,
because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.
Everything that the Father has is mine;
for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine
and declare it to you.”
Good News Reflection: Gifts from the Spirit of Truth
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus assures us that we have been given the Holy Spirit to teach us what we need to know and to help us recognize the truth. To better understand how this happens, let’s consider the seven sanctifying gifts of the Spirit, as listed in Isaiah 11:2-3.
Wisdom: The wisdom of God is contrary to the wisdom of the world. The Holy Spirit’s gift of wisdom helps us to detach from the world and to cherish only what’s heavenly. This wisdom, when used in everyday life, enlivens us in the ways of Christ. We find pleasure in what’s holy.
Understanding: What don’t you like about a Church teaching? What is doubtful about the ways of faith? Ask the Holy Spirit for understanding and you will be enlightened. You will increasingly gain a fuller awareness of the wisdom in Church teachings and a stronger sense about the truths of the faith, of God’s love, of his plans for you, etc.
Counsel: Are you uncertain about a decision you need to make? Do you feel hesitant in the choices you’re facing? Are you full of doubts about the future? The Holy Spirit wants to guide you and instruct you so that you can make the best decisions. My favorite prayer for this is: “Lord, open doors of opportunities in the way I should go, and close all doors that lead elsewhere.” And he does!
Fortitude: Are you growing weary from trials? The Holy Spirit gives us supernatural courage to persist and overcome obstacles and difficulties. From this we learn that we really can trust Jesus and reach a good end despite how bad and lengthy the problems seem to be.
Knowledge: The Holy Spirit directs us to the right paths and the right solutions, even supernaturally if necessary. Watch carefully; the Spirit of Truth is pointing out the dangers to avoid and the goals to reach. Listen to the songs, the scriptures, and the people that God puts “coincidentally” into your day. If their message seems familiar, because the Holy Spirit has already been speaking it to your heart, trust it and proceed with confidence.
Piety: Do you have a desire to embrace a life of holiness and to imitate Christ? This desire comes straight from the Holy Spirit as you learn how to respond to every situation with holy actions and attitudes.
Fear of the Lord: Respect for God feels instinctive, doesn’t it? That’s because it’s purely a gift from the Holy Spirit. Fear of the Lord is a profound respect for his perfect holiness. The more enlivened our relationship with the Spirit is, the more we loathe the idea of offending the Lord whom we love so dearly.
Here’s a prayer for increasing these gifts:
Come, Holy Spirit, and renew the face of the earth through me.
Fill me with Your life and Your grace,
that my soul may be sanctified.
Increase in me the gift of holy wisdom,
that I may use wisely the gifts You have given me.
Increase in me the gift of understanding,
that I may hear and respond to Your call.
Increase in me the gift of Your good counsel,
that I may always follow God’s will.
Increase in me the gift of knowledge,
that I may grow in holiness by knowing God and myself more fully.
Increase in me the gift of love,
that I may serve as Christ’s hands and feet and voice
sharing Your love with everyone I meet today.
Come, Holy Spirit! Renew the face of the earth through me!
May the Spirit of Truth fill our hearts, minds and souls so we can fully discover Christ and follow our Father’s wonderful paths. Amen.
© 2018 by Terry A. Modica