The promise of the Holy Spirit

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

THE occasion this promise was made was when Judas, not the Iscariot, told Christ, “Master, then what happened that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?” (Jn 14,22) That was when Christ told him and the others with him that “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.” (Jn 14,26)

All these were said because Christ was telling the apostles that whoever believes in his word, meaning his teachings, believes in God, and God would love him. We need to realize more deeply how important it is to know and convert into practice the doctrine of Christ which is now taught authoritatively in the Church.

The word of Christ is the word that would lead us to eternal life. Let’s remember that episode where Christ asked his apostles whether they would also desert him since a number of the people left him after he told them they have to eat his flesh and drink his blood to be united with him. (cfr. Jn 6,56-60) It was Peter who answered: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (Jn 6,68)

We need to see the intimate relation and connection between Christ’s word and our need to be with God. Also, we need to realize the role of the Holy Spirit in this business of how to understand, obey and live Christ’s word so we can be with God.

We need to realize more deeply that the Holy Spirit perpetuates the presence and redemptive action of Christ all throughout time, with all the drama, vagaries, ups and downs that we men make in our earthly journey.

This is because the life and redemptive work of Christ, who is both God and man, just cannot be swallowed up in the past and confined to a certain space and a particular culture or set of circumstances.

Christ’s work has a universal and perpetual scope. It affects all of us, and it affects us not only in some physical or material way, but in a very intimate, personal way, with him, through the Holy Spirit, entering into our lives.

It has been prophesied that God will pour out his Spirit upon all men. The Holy Spirit is intended for all of us. We are all meant to be filled with the Holy Spirit. But this divine will obviously has to contend with the way we receive and do things, and that is, that we take to this reality in stages involving a whole range of human means of teaching, evangelizing, etc.

We need the Holy Spirit because only in him can we truly recognize Christ. Only in him will we be able to have Christ in our life, to remember all his words and even to develop them to attune them to current needs and situations.

Only in him can we see things properly. Especially these days when truth, justice and charity have become very slippery, and people are left confounded and vulnerable to fall into scepticism and cynicism, we need to be in the Holy Spirit to be able to sort things out and stay away from the mess.

We need the Holy Spirit to be able to read the signs of the times properly. The world is getting very complicated, and we definitely need the Holy Spirit to guide us. We cannot rely anymore on our politicians and other leaders. We, including politicians and especially them, actually always need the Holy Spirit.