Gospel of John, chapter 14:16-17
Have you ever met a “nay-sayer?” A “nay-sayer” is one of those people who go around raining on everyone’s parade. No matter how happy and enthusiastic you may feel when you meet this kind of person; no matter how optimistic you are; the nay-sayer will find some reason to pop your balloon. You will leave the company of a “nay-sayer” full of confusion, downhearted, or at least dispirited.
The Holy Spirit is the opposite of a “nay-sayer.” Whenever we are in contact with the Holy Spirit we feel buoyant, optimistic and full of enthusiasm. The Spirit gives vitality to our lives breathing into them a sense of inner joy and enthusiasm for the Gospel.
When we possess the Holy Spirit, which Jesus promises to His faithful followers, our lives can never be the same. The Holy Spirit brings not only virtues like peace and patience into our lives but joy and hope as well. We cannot possess the gifts of faith, hope, and love without the Holy Spirit. Why do we call the Gospel the good news? The answer is so simple that we often overlook it. Jesus taught us that we are the children of His Father. That’s right. We are God’s own children. We are loved by Him more than any good parent loves his or her children. Once we understand this good news, how could we be sad? This does not mean that we are free from suffering and disappointment, and even from slipping, confusedly, on the banana peels of life. It does mean, however, that no suffering or disappointments or falling can be so great as to rob us of this inner Spirit.
When the Holy Spirit dwells in you, He gives you a mission to share the good news with all people; to spread kindness, and love; to reach out to the needy; to treat everyone as our brother and sister. What a gift and what a mission!
Sometimes this means going as a missionary to foreign lands to offer others, less fortunate than you, the good news. True as that is, there is more to it. Do not forget the people in your own neighborhood who will never hear the good news unless you bring it to them. You have a mission as the first disciples of Jesus had to spread the good news; in your neighborhoods, in your society, in your homes, but especially in your hearts for wherever you go the Spirit goes with you.
Come Holy Spirit! Fill our hearts with the joy of your presence.
Fr. Hugh Duffy