“But 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. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14: 26-27).
I think of the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus promised to send to strengthen and comfort His apostles, as also adding vitality to our faith in Jesus. I watched recently a miniseries from 2015, A.D. The Bible Continues, which chronicled the passion of Christ and the launching of His church, energized at Pentecost. As Peter went about preaching salvation through Christ, there would be a slight wind blowing that would take his breath, symbolic of the Holy Spirit emboldening Peter to be steadfast in spreading the good news of Jesus. The same wind would be present to breathe life into a young person whom Peter raised from the dead.
In Luke 12:12, Jesus foretells the apostles being challenged and put on trial for their belief in Christ and He reassures them saying “The Holy Spirit will give you the words to say at the moment when you need them.” Through the centuries, people of faith have been lifted by the power of God through the Holy Spirit to remain strong in bringing others to know the gospel message of hope through Jesus, despite persecution and sometimes certain death.
Consider the wrath of ISIS in Syria and Iraq in recent years, where Christians watched their churches being destroyed and were forced to live in exile, if not murdered, for holding true to their faith. Again, the Holy Spirit was evident, where believers remained steadfast, like Peter, refusing to renounce Christ. We see the same campaign against Christianity in Communist China, where an underground church has thrived, despite efforts by some church leaders to yield control to a central government hell bent on systematically destroying the purity and authenticity of faith, which has stood for decades in defiance of the evil intentions of the state.
Today we need our breath to be taken by the Holy Spirit, to stiffen our spines against the wave of secularism and situational ethics. As some church leaders want to cozy up to abject evil, for the purpose of getting along and not alienating those whose stench of unrepentant sin is strong, we have to say “no” to compromise, and “no” to tolerance of anything that is not of God.
For me, that tolerance begins and ends with the tried and true doctrines of Catholicism, which has it roots in the church established by Jesus, respecting life from conception to natural death, the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman, and always leading with love for our neighbor, while advocating for the path that is narrow, but true, leading toward salvation in heaven with Jesus!
Have a Blessed Sunday!