At Easter time, Jesus starts to talk about the Holy Spirit. In today’s Gospel, the approach is a little different then just a promise. Jesus starts talking about how the Spirit is not an unknown concept for those who already know Jesus: you know him because he remains with you, and will be in you.
The promise is about the manifestation of the Holy spirit that already is in the apostles. Every act of kindness, prayer, self-denial, as well as following Jesus, is possible because of the Holy Spirit living within them.
Sometimes it is hard to see the work or the presence of the Holy Spirit among us because of the “spiritual” and invisible nature of the Spirit. John mentioned that we can see the effect even though we cannot see the Spirit itself because the wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So, it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (Jn 3:8). But everything we accomplish in our spiritual life is precisely because of his presence, his inspiration and his work within us. The Spirit makes us sometimes do things that otherwise we would not accomplish by ourselves.
Also, we see the presence of the Spirit in the church of which we are a part. There are many ways and forms that we can experience the presence of the Spirit in us: The Church, a communion living in the faith of the apostles which she transmits, is the place where we know the Holy Spirit:
- in the Scriptures, he inspired;
- in the Tradition, to which the Church Fathers are always timely witnesses;
- in the Church’s Magisterium, which he assists;
- in the sacramental liturgy, through its words and symbols, in which the Holy Spirit
- puts us into communion with Christ;
- in prayer, wherein he intercedes for us;
- in the charisms and ministries by which the Church is built up;
- in the signs of apostolic and missionary life;
- in the witness of saints through whom he manifests his holiness and continues the work of salvation. (Cf. CCC # 688)
As a member of the church, we are somehow the fruits of the work of the Holy Spirit, and like the apostles, we know him, because he remains in us. Also, we are called to see the works of the Spirt in our parish and pray to be open to the spirt, as individuals and as a community. In this Easter time as we prepare for the coming of the Holy Spirit (Pentecost) we need to learn to see the work the Holy Spirit has done in us, and in this parish, so we might be grateful for that, and try to work in our docility to the spirt of God, who is the one who sanctifies us.