A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John.
The one who comes from above is above all.
The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things.
But the one who comes from heaven is above all.
He testifies to what he has seen and heard,
but no one accepts his testimony.
Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy.
For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God.
He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.
The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life,
but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life,
but the wrath of God remains upon him.
Good News Reflection:
Has the Father rationed the gift of his Spirit to you? Do you have a portion of the Holy Spirit or the fullness of the Spirit? In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus says that the Father did not ration (“limit”) the Spirit to him. What about us?
In our first reading today, Peter says that the Holy Spirit has been given to all who obey the Father. You and I do not obey God all of the time like Jesus did. Does this mean that the Father gives us less of his Spirit than he gave to Jesus?
Try this question: Is the Father’s love ever limited? Can he partially love anyone? Of course not! There is no such thing as “partial love”. Love is love! God who is love fully and completely loves you. So why does it seem like he gave Jesus the fullness of the Spirit but only a portion to us?
The Son stayed fully in touch with the Father and was therefore open to receiving everything that the Father wanted to give him, hearing everything the Father told him, and doing everything the Father worked supernaturally through him.
When we were baptized into the life of Christ, the Father gave us his Spirit fully. The problem is, we’re not fully in touch with the Father. Our worldly attachments and busyness distract us. Our sins build a dam that holds back the waters of the Spirit.
Countless Saints have experienced the power of the Spirit in amazing miracles, because they worked hard daily at breaking down the barriers between this world and heaven. They worked hard at purging out all the sins and distractions that disconnected them from God. “But I’ll never be that holy,” we point out. We give up before we try long enough. We become content with the progress we’ve made and so we sit down on a cozy wayside bench. We see hard work ahead, and so we turn onto paths that look pleasant and easy.
Thus, we lead mediocre lives instead of miraculous ones. Big dreams become fantasies instead of realities. And instead of making great accomplishments that change the world, we severely limit our potential.
The most important priority of our lives should be the nurturing of our communion with God. Do you care enough about your personal spiritual development that you’ll work hard for it? Daily?
The Father is not the one who rations the Holy Spirit to us. We limit the extent of the Spirit’s powerful effect on our lives by neglecting to center ourselves fully in God. We let distractions pull us off-center. We let sins pull us even farther away.
Observe the decisions that you make today (and each day) while asking yourself: “Am I choosing the way of holiness? Am I staying centered on God’s love for me and my love for him?” Each and every moment!
Making the right decisions — the holy and loving and soul-nurturing decisions — will flood your life with God’s Spirit.
Lord, take my rebelliousness and open my heart to Your grace. I want to believe in You, trusting always that Your ways are truth and life. Amen.
© 2017 by Terry A. Modica