TUESDAY OF THE SIXTH WEEK OF EASTER
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 16:5-11
Jesus said to his disciples: "Now I am going to the one who sent me, and not one of you asks me, 'Where are you going?' But because I told you this, grief, has filled your hearts. 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. And when he comes he will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation: sin, because they do not believe in me; righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned. "
Jesus reveals to his disciples that he must go and the Holy Spirit will come. The Holy Spirit will reveal to the world how wrong they were about sin, and their refusal to believe that Jesus Christ was the Savior.
The disciples were sad because they have been told and have been prepared that Jesus is soon physically leaving them. He won't be seen anymore. The anticipated separation and loss lead to grief and pain. Imagine the emotion of never ever seeing the person we love and of not being in their company. This is the emotional roller coaster for the disciples. They are with Jesus BUT know that he will leave soon--they really don't know when, but know it is soon. It is imminent. The sense of urgency is there because that is what Jesus keeps talking about.
But Jesus who loves us won't leave us alone. He promises that another awesome friend will be coming soon. Paul in Romans 8:39 reminds us "nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus". By sending the Holy Spirit , the Lord will be with us in a new and special way. He will dwell in us through the power of the Holy Spirit.
There are three important things that the Holy Spirit will do--(the original word for convince is convict).
1. He will convince the world of sin. The Holy Spirit makes us holy as God is holy. He does this by convincing us of our sins and our unbelief and by bringing us to the foot of the Cross.
2. He will convince the world of righteousness. The Spirit convinces us of God's love and mercy, goodness, forgiveness and his divine truth. He convinces us of our complete dependence on God for his love and mercy. He opens up our minds and hearts that Jesus is the true Messiah.
3. He will convince the world of judgment. The Holy Spirit convinces us of that final judgment day when we will all stand before God. We will know that the judgment of God is just and good. And that he will bring us peace, joy and reconciliation.
Let us open our minds and hearts to the blazing fire of the Holy Spirit. Let him have free reign over our hearts. When you pray to the Holy Spirit be attentive to where he steers you, listen to his promptings and don't preoccupy yourselves with your needs and your wants but be open to his life saving love. After all, does not God know better than you what is the best plan for your life? However, we sometimes refuse to listen because of pride and self centeredness.
We might want a certain prayer answered but let the spirit run with your heart. As Saint Mother Teresa said, " Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at his disposition, and listening to his voice in the depths of our hearts. "
"Come Holy Spirit, and let the fire of your love burn in my heart. Let me desire only what is pure, lovely, holy and good and in accord with the will of God and give me the courage to put away all that is not pleasing in your sight." (Prayer from prayer book) Amen