16 May 2007 Wednesday of the 6th Week of Easter
John 16, 12-15 The Holy Spirit
“He will take from what is mine, and declare it to you.”
The passage which we read today is very much important especially today. What makes the teachers of the Church credible in their teaching? Without Jesus, who guides them? How do they know that their teaching is what Jesus would also teach? The answer is simple: the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth is the one guiding all people in discerning what to do in the present age. The Holy Spirit helps us decide on courses of action about present issues, such as genetic manipulation and cloning, that is very much faithful to the teaching of Jesus. The Spirit receives from the Father and the Son all that he is to teach the apostles, “He will take from what is mine, and declare it to you.” When the Spirit descends in us, the Father and the Son also comes with Him (John 14, 23).
Thus, when we participate in the Spirit by doing what is good, then we will palpably see the fruits of this Spirit. How do we know that it is the Spirit who is within us?
First, in our actions. St. Paul writes to the Galatians (5, 22-23), “The fruit of the Spirit is charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, long life, compassion, faith, modesty, continence, chastity.” St. Thomas Aquinas says, “Every virtuous act which man performs with pleasure is a fruit.” The fruits of the Holy Spirit are thus acts, not habits or permanent qualities. Therefore, when we are charitable in our words to someone whom we are pissed, then it is the Spirit within us. When we are peaceful when we do our work or pray, then it is the Spirit.
There is another thing: if they are fruits, therefore they are performed with ease and pleasure, that the difficulty in performing them disappears in the delight and satisfaction in accomplishing them. If we find pleasure and ease in doing good, then it is Spirit. If we find being compassionate easy to do, then it is the Spirit.
On the other hand, when we do the opposite of charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, long life, compassion, faith, modesty, continence and charity, then we find ourselves bothered, ashamed or guilty. The negative results of these acts indicates that the evil we’ve done is not of our nature.
This is what happens to us: we are then formed. We do not do good, we become good. We do not carry out compassion, we become compassionate. We do not perform chastity, we become chaste. Then we become like Christ. Christ who deals with the present situation. We become Christ in the today’s world.