Monday, May 20, 2019

May 26, 2019 - The Final Message

Sixth Sunday of Easter C

Reading I:  Acts 15: 1-2, 22-29

Psalm:  67

Reading II: 
Revelation 21:10-14, 22-23

Gospel:  John 14:23-29

The last words of someone about to die have great power.  I had an uncle who was an alcoholic and was asked to give up his addiction and join AA, by his older brother, who was dying. Having made the promise to his brother on his deathbed, he kept the promise and became a faithful member of AA, helping many others during
his lifetime.

Jesus, aware of the power His final words would have, gathers his disciples attempting to prepare them for His leaving. He shares tender, loving words and telling them that they will not be left alone. 
Jesus reassures them that He and the Father will send them an Advocate, the Holy Spirit, who will teach them what they need to know and remind them of what He has told them. An Advocate is like a lawyer who would stand beside someone in need and speak in his or her defense.

Then Jesus says He is leaving them “His Peace,” which is not the kind that the world gives. This is a deep inner peace in spite of the turmoil that might be happening on the surface.

Jesus encourages the disciples to rejoice with Him because He is returning to His Father. However, He is aware of how lost they will feel without His presence to guide and support them. By promising to send the Holy Spirit, He provides the guidance and support that the disciples will need.

That same support and guidance are available to us, too. When important decisions need to be made, we can ask assistance from the Holy Spirit. We have an ever-present helper. He is present also when we have other needs.

Come, Holy Spirit - Prayer

                Come, Holy Spirit, Come!                 

And from your celestial home
   Shed a ray of light divine!
Come, Father of the poor!
Come, source of all our store!
    Come within our bosoms shine.
You, of comforters the best;
You, the soul's most welcome guest;
     Sweet refreshment here below.
In our labor, rest most sweet;
Grateful coolness in the heat;
     Solace in the midst of woe.
O most blessed Light divine,
Shine within these hearts of yours,
     And our inmost being fill!

 Reflection Question:  We cannot see the air keeping us alive unless it moves in the form of wind to cool us. At other times, we can see its strength in a storm. Likewise, we cannot see the Holy Spirit, but we have Jesus’ word that he is with us.  Sometimes, we feel his action in our lives.  Have you ever felt the help of the Spirit?  When?  How?

Spanish Translation of Reflection Above...
El Mensaje Final

Las últimas palabras de alguien a punto de morir tienen un gran poder. Tenía un tío que era alcohólico y su hermano mayor, quien se estaba muriendo, me pidió que abandonara su adicción y se uniera a AA. Habiendo hecho la promesa a su hermano en su lecho de muerte, cumplió la promesa y se convirtió en un miembro fiel de AA, ayudando a muchos otros durante su vida.

Jesús, consciente del poder que tendrían sus últimas palabras, reúne a sus discípulos tratando de prepararlos para su partida. Él comparte palabras tiernas y amorosas y les dice que no se quedarán solos. Jesús les asegura que Él y el Padre les enviarán un Defensor, el Espíritu Santo, que les enseñará lo que necesitan saber y les recordará lo que Él les ha dicho. Un defensor es como un abogado que estaría al lado de alguien que lo necesita y hablaría en su defensa.

Entonces Jesús dice que los está dejando “su paz”, que no es la clase que el mundo da. Esta es una profunda paz interior a pesar de la agitación que podría estar ocurriendo en la superficie.

Jesús anima a los discípulos a regocijarse con Él porque está regresando a su Padre. Sin embargo, Él es consciente de cuán perdidos se sentirán sin Su presencia para guiarlos y apoyarlos. Al prometer enviar el Espíritu Santo, Él proporciona la guía y el apoyo que los discípulos necesitarán.

Ese mismo apoyo y guía están disponibles para nosotros, también. Cuando es necesario tomar decisiones importantes, podemos pedir ayuda al Espíritu Santo. Tenemos un ayudante siempre presente. Él está presente también cuando tenemos otras necesidades.

Ven, Espíritu Santo - Oración

               ¡Ven, Espíritu Santo, ven!                
Y desde tu hogar celestial.
Arroja un rayo de luz divina!
¡Ven, padre de los pobres!
¡Ven, fuente de toda nuestra tienda!
Ven dentro de nuestros senos brillarás.
Tú, de los consoladores, los mejores;
Tú, el invitado más bienvenido del alma;
 Dulce refresco aquí abajo.
En nuestro trabajo, descansa lo más dulce;
Frialdad agradecida en el calor;
 Solace en medio del dolor.
Oh, divina Luz divina,
Brilla en estos corazones tuyos,
Y nuestro más íntimo ser lleno!

  Pregunta de reflexión:   No podemos ver el aire manteniéndonos vivos a menos que se mueva en forma de viento para refrescarnos. En otras ocasiones, podemos ver su fuerza en una tormenta. Del mismo modo, no podemos ver al Espíritu Santo, pero tenemos la palabra de Jesús de que él está con nosotros. A veces, sentimos su acción en nuestras vidas. ¿Alguna vez has sentido la ayuda del Espíritu? ¿Cuando? ¿Cómo?


Stephanie Morris, Ph.D. Historian, Certified Archivist, Emerita

There is a story of a seminary professor who told his students that they had to be “on time” for the next class for there was to be a test. The next day the seminarians hurried to the classroom, passing several people in the hallway including an older man. All were early for the class. The professor then announced that they are all failed. They had failed to greet the older man in the hallway and ask if he needed anything.

We can meet the Spirit without warning or being aware of the Spirit’s presence. I have often had occasions when I was annoyed with myself for being later than I wanted for something. Along the way to my destination, I might meet a friend I had not seen in a long time or be able to assist someone needing information. “Being later than I wanted” was being just when and where the Spirit wanted me to be.

Pat Chiaffa, ASBS

For almost a year now, my mother has entertained the idea of selling her home and moving into a retirement community. Mom will celebrate her 89th birthday in July. My sister and I have attempted to help her downsize during this time, and we have encountered several roadblocks, the most notable being mom’s attachment to her belongings. Frequent misunderstandings resulted in a rift between mom and my sister. My sister decided to cease her assistance. Our goal, however, was to step-up the pace to gather as many items as possible to participate in the Community Yard Sale being held on May 18th.

With my sister out of the picture, Mom’s strategy was to reach out to her nieces and nephews, many of whom she has not spoken with for decades. She persuaded the wives of two nephews to assist with the yard sale. I have never met either Louise or Sarah. However, it turns out that my sister frequently connects via Facebook with Sarah. Within hours of my mother talking with Sarah, my sister learned of the call and was very angry about mom’s recruitment of Sarah. She sent me a rambling email about how my mother pressured Sarah into helping. She said that Sarah has back problems and does not want to help but felt obligated to do so. You get the picture!

Wearied from all the bickering, I decided to simply pause and pray. I received a response with such clarity that I knew it was the Holy Spirit’s inspiration. When I sat down to type my response to my sister, it was as though I was taking dictation from a Source of Infinite Wisdom. My finished note was clear, non-judgmental and caring. I stated that it is perfectly fine if Sarah does not want to help, but it is her responsibility to contact mom and tell her so. I was not willing to speak for someone I did not even know and contribute to even more misunderstandings.

Why do I believe that the Holy Spirit was instrumental in this situation? I was in perfect peace with the message. When I hit the “send” button, I was transmitting gifts of understanding, acceptance and freedom to my sister as well as for Sarah. I felt tenderness and love toward both woman and toward myself also. I am most grateful to the Holy Spirit for His Presence, guidance and support.

Sarah did call my mother. She was not able to help at the yard sale, but she offered to spend a couple of hours the day before organizing items into groups for ease of pricing. Those few hours were an enormous help. Turns out Spirit is a Mover and a Shaker! I am most grateful for His behind the scenes Divine Grace.

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