At the end of his earthly life, Jesus unveils the truth that all shall be one in him. This underlying unity is the fruit of our intimacy with the Trinity. The love between the Son and the Father manifests itself in the Spirit whose presence Jesus communicates to us as his lasting legacy.
The Spirit, who will glorify Jesus, will give us the strength to illumine minds, uplift hearts, and transform lives—all thanks to the grace of God. Diverse as this burgeoning faith community of ours may be, what we, its members, have in common is our belief in Jesus Christ as our Savior. No alien power will prevail against the church Christ came to establish. Our love for one another will be its citadel of strength and its witness to unity in diversity.
The knowledge of redemption entrusted to us will be passed on from age to age by all who have ears to hear and eyes to see. As believers blessed by the Spirit of truth and encouraged to share with others all that Jesus teaches us, we will continue to grow in faith through the power of his word.
Then and now it is the commission assigned to every Christian to glorify God and to declare in word and song, in silent witness and bold proclamation, the revelation for which Jesus gave his life for the saving of the world. We are to humble ourselves as he did and practice the art and discipline of self-emptying love. Only then can we hear the call to follow the Master despite the cost of discipleship. To be an epiphany of God’s presence wherever we are is not a duty but a privilege.
Come, Holy Spirit, and radiate through our finitude the infinite goodness and mercy of God. Teach us to see in every obstacle a formation opportunity. Lead us to eternal peace and joy in oneness with the Trinity. Amen.
This week’s readings remind us of the powerful role of God’s Spirit. For many Christians, the Holy Spirit is the person of the Trinity we understand the least. In the book of Acts, the Spirit empowers the apostles on Pentecost to speak in other languages and, in so doing, initiates the establishment and missional reach of the church to the wider world. The psalmist uses a wordplay on ruach, the Hebrew word for breath or spirit, to teach us that God’s Spirit was present at Creation and is necessary for the ongoing survival of all life. Paul writes that God’s Spirit confirms that we are children of God and can approach God with confidence, not fear. Even the disciples feel uncertain about what will happen when Jesus leaves, so John provides Jesus’ assurance that God will remain with them and with us through the presence of the Holy Spirit
Read Acts 2:1-21. How often do you take solace in praying in private? Or are you more inclined to move to take action in the public square without praying first? Which site is the more comfortable for you?
Read Psalm 104:24-34, 35b. Where have you seen evidence of nature’s resources being spent? How can you help?
Read Romans 8:22-27. How consequential is it to you to acknowledge that God prays for us and the world? Why?
Read John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15. What instructions do you wish Jesus had left for you?
Respond by posting a prayer.
This season, Whitney R. Simpson has given us the gift we must open: a clear, accessible invitation to connect with the divine spark that is within us. This is the best present: being present for Jesus’ birth, God made human.”
Learn more about our newest Advent resource, Fully Human, Fully Divine here.