Scripture offers us numerous reminders of how the Holy
Spirit works in the Body of Christ. The message is this: We are never
alone. "I will not leave you orphaned," Jesus promises
(John 14:15-21). In baptism, we are sanctified - claimed - as God's
children and sealed with the Holy Spirit. Through the sacrament of
confirmation (cf. Acts 8:5-8, 14-17), we are fortified by the Holy
Spirit to live more fully in faith, hope, and love.
The Spirit is not a concept, but a Person
third Person of the One and Triune God who animates and enlightens
God's Temple, the Church as the Body of Christ, and our individual
souls. Jesus calls the Spirit the "Advocate" who will be with us
always. The Greek term for this word supplies us with a traditional
definition - a supporter or defender, like a defense attorney. It
also means an intercessor, a mediator, a spokesperson, and a
comforter or consoler.
However, there is a deeper meaning - that of a teacher or
witness. The Spirit of Truth instructs and provides evidence
personal presence. This means that Jesus
is more fully present to us than he ever was to his disciples in
his own time and place. Then, he was only present to
them. Now, he is present
all, throughout time and
In Christ and through the Holy Spirit, we are made friends
of God. We are all connected - the ultimate social
Because of this, we have the Advocate - in prayer, in the
Eucharist, in the other sacraments, in Scripture, in the ministers
of the Church, and its living Tradition, in one another, and in our
hearts. The Spirit - coequal and coeternal with Father and Son - is
the reason for our hope.
Brought to life in the Spirit through the death and
resurrection of Christ (cf. 1 Peter 3:15-18), we have faith in
yesterday, hope in tomorrow, and love for today. We become one in
the Holy Trinity, now and forever. Amen.