A reading from the holy Gosepl according to John 20: 19-23
"On the evening of the first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you." When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained." The Gospel of the Lord
+Let us Pray: Come Holy Spirit, I love you, Come Holy Spirit draw me deeper. Amen
Isn't that just how the Lord often finds us, Dwelling in fear? Unable to think clearly, closed in on ourselves? We can all relate to the disciples. They were afraid of the Jews, and why not? The "Jews" meant suffering, persecution, death. In our culture today, it's not so different, many live in fear, for different reasons. Fear locks the human heart, it, making breathing even difficult, it can even paralyze us from any movement forward not to mention strip us of peace and joy. Fear is not of God and that is why our Lord does not want us living in it. He wants us living in Him and he is Love. Living in Love is very different, it 'reawakens the soul', gives strength, enlivens it, causing the heart to 'breathe again' and expand making it capable of movement forward. In the 2nd Rdg today Rom 8; St. Paul reminds us, that; "you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a Spirit of adoption, through whom we cry, "Abba, Father." What beautiful words. That 'falling back' comes from fear, and the movement forward, comes from Love. Let me draw your attention to a 'word' today, the word is "receive". Look at the context of it, in the 2nd reading today from Rom 8:8-17. Again look at this word in the Gospel today. Our Lord says the word in the Imperative tense: "Receive the Holy Spirit", there is a command in this, why do you suppose? pray on this- In the second Gospel option for today, (Jn 14:15-16, 23-26) the Holy Spirit is called the Advocate! An Advocate is different than a Defense-whats the difference? What does the Name denote to you? For me, the first thing that comes to me is; He is on my side, He is "all for me", helping me move in the direction God wants me to move. Which is forward! To hear this Advocate, this Divine Counselor, it would seem logical that closeness to the voice would help right? The closer someone is to us, the more easily we hear them. W must receive the Holy Spirit in the closest manner possible, so as to hear him well. What does that mean? Concretely what must I do, to make space for Him in my soul? He IS being given to us as adopted sons and daughters, there is no distinction in worthiness, He is being given to us, as children of God. Our Lord says "Receive" - Do I welcome Him by listening to Him? Inviting Him into my soul, as my cherished guest? My friend, my truest Counsel. What do you do, when a guest comes to your home? When they are very close to you what do you do?
Prayer: Come Holy Spirit, living water, Come Holy Spirit draw me deeper, Come Holy Spirit, consuming Fire of Love, Come Holy Spirit, I am thirsting for you!