May 8, 2023
Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Readings for Today
“I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name—he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.” John 14:25–26
Sometimes we forget all that God has spoken to us. For example, we may have some clear experience of God’s presence in our lives, such as a powerful spiritual insight gained through prayer, a deep conviction of His voice spoken through a sermon, the transforming freedom encountered through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, or some form of unmistakable clarity imparted through the reading of the holy Scriptures. When God speaks to us, imparting His Truth, strength, forgiveness and every other form of grace, we are spiritually consoled as we sense His closeness. But when trouble comes our way, those moments of clarity can be easily lost.
The disciples would have had many clarifying experiences during the three years of Jesus’ public ministry. They marveled at the spiritual authority they encountered in His sermons, witnessed countless miracles, looked on as sinners were set free, saw Jesus transfigured in glory, and watched our Lord enter deeply into prayer with the Father. Each time they encountered the power of God at work, they would have grown in their conviction that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God, the Savior of the World. But Jesus also knew that these disciples would soon have their faith in Him shaken. He knew that as they looked on from a distance in fear as Jesus was arrested, beaten and killed, they would start to forget all that they previously experienced. Fear can cause confusion, and Jesus knew that His disciples would soon fall into that trap. For this reason, Jesus spoke the words above to His disciples. He promised them that the Holy Spirit would soon come upon them to teach them everything and to remind them all that He told them.
How nice it would be if every lesson we ever learned from God remained front and center in our lives. How nice it would be if we never allowed fear to confuse us and cause us to forget all that God has spoken to us in varied ways. Just as Jesus knew the disciples would need the help of the Holy Spirit to remember, He also knows that we need the same help from the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the words spoken to the disciples above are also spoken to us. “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name—he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.”
What lessons of faith have you learned in the past that you need to be reminded of? It is the role of the Holy Spirit to bring those lessons to mind every time we need them. Therefore, as we move closer to the glorious celebration of the Solemnity of Pentecost, it is a good time to pray to the Holy Spirit and ask for the gift of remembering the many ways that God has revealed Himself to us. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit work in perfect harmony with each other, but each has a distinct role in our lives. The Holy Spirit’s role is especially to lead us day-by-day into the fulfillment of the Father’s will of becoming perfectly conformed to the Person of Christ Jesus.
Reflect, today, upon this powerful promise that our Lord gave to His disciples and to us. Pray to the Holy Spirit. Open yourself to the Spirit’s ongoing direction in your life and never allow fear to lead to confusion. Instead, allow God to dispel all confusion and to remind you of all that He has spoken to you throughout your life.
Most glorious Lord Jesus, You promised the disciples and all Your people that the Holy Spirit would be sent to us to remind us of all that You have revealed. Holy Spirit, please continuously descend upon me, teach me and guide me. Help me to never forget the many lessons I have been taught so that I will never let fear lead to confusion. Jesus, I trust in You.