Gospel Meditations

GOSPEL MEDITATION FOR
24 MAY, 2017, WEDNESDAY, 6TH WEEK IN EASTERTIDE
BY REV FR ERBIN FERNANDEZ & CSC TEAM
COPYRIGHTS RESERVED.

“When the spirit of truth comes, he will guide you in to all the truth.” (Jn16:12-15)

GOSPEL: JOHN 16:12-15

http://www.universalis.com/20170524/mass.htm

(I sense Jesus wanting to meet me. I prayerfully call upon the Holy Spirit to be present. I prayerfully read today’s gospel passage slowly once through. I sit in silence for a few minutes with the gospel text. I now pray through the following meditation. I allow the Holy Spirit to lead me, pausing wherever I need to.)

Imagine that you go to Rome on pilgrimage. You would ask for the assistance of a guide when you visit the Vatican Museum. She would be an Italian guide who is very passionate about the museum and church history. She would want you also to fall in love with the museum and the history that God made with his church down the centuries. However, the guide cannot force you to fall in love. If you get bored, you just switch off your earphones. The guide is just there to reveal all the truth about the museum to you.

For centuries, the councils strove to understand these words of St. John. Finally, they asserted that the spirit is effectively someone, a person, who knows from inside the intimate mystery of God, to guide men in to it. In Rublev’s icon of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit is the third person, whose face is perfectly identical with the faces of the Father and of the Son, but who even as he bends his head to them in a loving attitude completes the movement of the “perfect circle” and in fact is looking at the Earth. He is looking at the man who prays before the icon, to open for him and communicate to him the dynamism of God: Love!

However, when we speak of God, truth cannot be merely an intellectual attitude. It cannot be just the knowledge of a person who we want to love. We do not just want to learn, to observe, to measure, to place under a microscope – to “study scientifically” like one studies a thing. We are on a different level: to know someone is to enter in to a relationship with him or with her.

The challenge for us as Catholics is to develop a relationship with the Holy Spirit. He wants to guide us in to all the truth. The apostles on the eve of the death of Jesus had understood hardly anything of Jesus. Their painful adventure should warn us not to make of our faith something static, acquired once for all. Like the apostles, we too are only at the beginning of an adventure of discovery.

Lord, there are still a lot of things, which your spirit wants to reveal to me sooner or later. Let me never be “satisfied” as if I knew everything. Lord, give me your patience, your perseverance. Teach me to march at the rhythm of your grace.

Action: Today I will pray for the grace to deepen my relationship with the Holy Spirit, to ask Him to guide me in to all the truth about a certain person, place or situation in my life.

(I journal: What phrase touched me today? What is Jesus inviting me to live today? I ask for a specific grace for today.)

GOSPEL MEDITATION FOR
23 MAY, 2017, TUESDAY, 6TH WEEK IN EASTERTIDE
BY REV FR ERBIN FERNANDEZ, SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR, CATHOLIC SPIRITUALITY CENTRE (CSC)
COPYRIGHTS RESERVED.

“WHEN THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS COME, HE WILL CONVICT THE WORLD OF SIN” (JOHN 16:8) 

GOSPEL: JOHN 16:5-11

http://www.universalis.com/20170523/mass.htm

(I sense Jesus wanting to meet me. I prayerfully call upon the Holy Spirit to be present. I prayerfully read today’s gospel passage slowly once through. I sit in silence for a few minutes with the gospel text. I now pray through the following meditation. I allow the Holy Spirit to lead me, pausing wherever I need to.)

`We have here an almost perfect summary of the work of the Spirit. The word that John uses of the work of the Spirit is the word `elegchein` in Greek, translated as `convince`, by the Revised Standard Version. The trouble is that no one word can translate it adequately. It is used for the cross-examination of a witness, or a man on trial, or an opponent in an argument. It has always this idea of cross-examining a man until he sees and admits his errors, or acknowledges the force of some argument which he had not yet seen. The Holy Spirit will convict men of sin. When the Jews crucified Jesus, they did not believe that they were sinning; they believed that they were serving God. But when the story of that crucifixion was later preached, they were pricked in their heart (Ac 2:37). They suddenly had the terrible conviction that the crucifixion was the greatest crime in history and that their sin had caused it. What is it that gives a man a sense of sin? What is it that abases him in face of the Cross? It is the work of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit will convince men of righteousness. It becomes clear what this means when we see that it is Jesus Christ’s righteousness of which men will be convinced. Jesus was crucified as a criminal. He was tried; he was found guilty; he was regarded by the Jews as an evil heretic, and by the Romans as a dangerous character; he was given the punishment that the worst criminals had to suffer, branded as a felon and an enemy of God. What changed that? What made men see in this crucified figure the Son of God, as the centurion saw at the Cross (Matt 27:54) and Paul on the Damascus Road (Ac 9:1-9)? It is amazing that men should put their trust for all eternity in a crucified Jewish criminal. It is the work of the Holy Spirit. It is he who convinces men of the sheer righteousness of Christ, backed by the fact that Jesus rose again and went to his Father. The Holy Spirit convinces men of judgment. On the Cross evil stands condemned and defeated. What makes a man feel certain that judgment lies ahead? It is the work of the Holy Spirit. It is he who gives us the inner and unshakable conviction that we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God.

There remains one thing which at the moment John does not go on to mention. What gives us the certainty that in the Cross of Christ is our salvation and that with Christ we are forgiven, and saved from judgment? This, too, is the work of the Holy Spirit. It is he who convinces us and makes us sure that in this crucified figure we can find our Saviour and our Lord. The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin and convinces us of our Saviour.`1 Indeed Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

Action: Today I will cry out for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Church

(I journal: What phrase touched me today? What is Jesus inviting me to live today? I ask for a specific grace for today.)

1 www.studylight.org/commentaries/dsb/john-16.html