From Pauses for Pentecost
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit,
whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you all things
and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
One of our most prevalent sins is that of forgetfulness. We suffer from large doses of spiritual amnesia. We forget who God is. We forget who we are. We forget who we are called to be. We forget who our sister or brother is. The effects of this forgetfulness reverberate throughout our lives. Called to worship God, we worship things. Called to be sons and daughters of God, we live as orphans. Called to be mature, we remain children. Called to love, we remain self-centered. Tragically, we miss the mark God has set for our lives here on Earth.
In this regard, our verse today emphasizes another important dimension of the Holy Spirit’s activity: reminding us of everything we have learned from Jesus. Here is our antidote to our loss of spiritual memory. As we remain open to the Spirit, the Spirit helps us remember what Jesus has taught us. The gospels – the sayings and stories of Jesus – are a great treasure. The Holy Spirit reminds us of these riches and constantly reveals their personal meanings in our lives. We could say that the Spirit personalizes the word of Christ for us just when we need it. An external gospel word becomes an internal experience of the risen Christ speaking to us in a personal way.
You may know what I am trying to describe from your own experience. The Spirit personalizes the gospel when we face difficult situations, when we don’t know what to say, or when we are uncertain about the way ahead. Suddenly, something that Jesus has said in the gospels comes alive for us with remarkable clarity and power, bringing us both consolation and challenge. We sense that we are being reminded of what we already know. We realize that the Spirit is helping us to comprehend more fully who God is, who we are, who we are called to be, and who our neighbor is. This is the Paraclete present and active in our lives!
Ask the Holy Spirit to remind you of one thing that Jesus teaches in the gospels. Share this word with one other person.