Thursday, January 5, 2017

To Know Jesus, Be Aware Of The Spirit In Your Heart

January 6, 2017 (if before Epiphany; feast of Saint André Bessette)
Friday before the Epiphany

To Know Jesus, Be Aware Of The Spirit In Your Heart

The Responsorial Psalm invites us, “Praise the Lord, Jerusalem” (Ps. 147).

1John 5: 5-13 was written for a very specific purpose: “to make you realize that you possess eternal life — you who believe in the name of the Son of God.” If we really do realize this, what can depress us? No matter how bad things get, the truth is that we have within us the divine life of God. We have the same life God has. What else do we need?

“Eternal life” is not simply the gift of human life extended. “Grace” means the “favor” of sharing in the divine life of God. “Eternal” means “that which is without beginning and without end.” Only God is eternal. To have “eternal life” is to share in the life of God that is without beginning or end, and without boundaries — the fullness of knowledge, love and enjoyment — in communion (shared union) with God and every person in grace.

We receive this life by being incorporated into, made one with, Jesus Christ. “This life is in his Son. Whoever possesses the Son possesses life.” This is what we are talking about when we say at the beginning of Mass, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” No matter how bad everything else is in our lives, this gives us reason to say always, “Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.

Mark 1: 7-11 tells us that Jesus baptizes us “in the Holy Spirit.” What does that mean?

The gift of the Holy Spirit is the fruit of Christ’s death (John 16:7) and it is the first thing he gave his disciples after his Resurrection (John 20:22). It is the promised fruit of Baptism (Acts 2:38) that frees us from slavery to sin and fear (Romans 8:15) and helps us to “set our minds on the things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:5; Ephesians 3:16). The Spirit “teaches” us and “reminds” us of all Jesus said (John 14:26), guides us (Galatians 5:25) and strengthens us (Ephesians 3:16). The Spirit, crying in our hearts “Abba! Father!” lets us know that God is our Father (Romans 8: 15-16; Galatians 4:6), that Jesus is Lord (1Corinthians 12:3), and that our bodies are temples of the divine (1Corinthians 3:16, 6:19). The Spirit keeps us one with each other (Colossians 12:13; Ephesians 4:3) and gives us “the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22). By the Spirit we long for the coming of Jesus and the fulfillment of life in heaven (Revelation 22:17) and experience, “the spirit of glory, which is the Spirit of God… resting on you” (1Peter 4:14). That is why, even in suffering we continue to sing, “Praise the Lord, Jerusalem!

Initiative: If you want to know Jesus, be aware of the Spirit in your heart. Acknowledge what your heart knows and desires. Follow inspirations of faith.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave your comments!