1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13 Or Gal 5:16-25
Jn 20:19-23 Or Jn 15:26-27; 16:12-15
In the Holy Spirit, God dwells not just among us but within us. Known as the Wonderful Counselor, Advocate, and Paraclete, which literally means, “he who is called to one’s side” (CCC 692). The Holy Spirit fulfills the Lord’s promise to “never forsake you or abandon you” (Hebrews 13:5). The Spirit of Truth, with us, forever. The one of whom Jesus said, “it is better for you that I go,” (John 16:7) because he will come, the one from whom we receive consolation, guidance, and who teaches us everything.
An advocate supports those who feel they are not being heard. In Romans 8:26, St. Paul teaches one of the incredible truths of how the Spirit works as a support in assuring God hears our prayers. “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.”
Even when we are at a loss on how to pray, the Holy Spirit perfects those fears, doubts, and desires nestled so deep in our soul we have no words and brings them to the Father for us. How many groanings has your heart murmured that the Spirit perfected and brought before the Lord?
An advocate ensures a person has the tools to make an informed decision. In our Confirmations, we receive an outpouring of gifts to guide our Christian life. The gifts of wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord each provide the guidance we need to be responsive to the will of God in our lives. The grace from living in the Spirit opens our hearts to choose good, desire what the Father desires for us, even if not done perfectly, the devoted Advocate adequately equips us.
Jesus lays clear the Advocates work in our world, “And when he comes he will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation: sin, because they do not believe in me; righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.” How often has the Holy Spirit convicted our behavior, thoughts, or even our lack of action? How we respond indicates how willing we are to allow this Wonderful Counselor into our hearts.
Do you wonder how to measure the magnitude to which you’ve allowed the Holy Spirit into your life? St. Paul shares the fruit of living in the Spirit is seen in the extent our lives are filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5: 22-23). This incredible life Jesus promises with the Advocate, is just a simple prayer away, “Come, Holy Spirit.”
On Pentecost, we celebrate the birthday of the Church, that glorious moment the Holy Spirit “appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them (Acts 2:3). They heard and understood, more importantly, empowered by the Spirit, they proclaimed! With the Advocate at our side, let us go forth this Pentecost Sunday as ambassadors for Christ.