6th Week of Easter
1st Reading: Acts 17:15, 22—18:1
After Paul’s escorts had taken him to Athens, they came away with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible. Then Paul stood up at the Areopagus and said: “You Athenians, I see that in every respect you are very religious. For as I walked around looking carefully at your shrines, I even discovered an altar inscribed, ‘To an Unknown God.’ What therefore you unknowingly worship, I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and all that is in it, the Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands because he needs anything. Rather it is he who gives to everyone life and breath and everything. He made from one the whole human race to dwell on the entire surface of the earth, and he fixed the ordered seasons and the boundaries of their regions, so that people might seek God, even perhaps grope for him and find him, though indeed he is not far from any one of us. For ‘In him we live and move and have our being,’ as even some of your poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring.’ Since therefore we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the divinity is like an image fashioned from gold, silver, or stone by human art and imagination. God has overlooked the times of ignorance, but now he demands that all people everywhere repent because he has established a day on which he will ‘judge the world with justice’ through a man he has appointed, and he has provided confirmation for all by raising him from the dead.” When they heard about resurrection of the dead, some began to scoff, but others said, “We should like to hear you on this some other time.” And so Paul left them. But some did join him, and became believers. Among them were Dionysius, a member of the Court of the Areopagus, a woman named Damaris, and others with them. After this he left Athens and went to Corinth.
Gospel: Jn 16:12-15
Jesus said to his disciples: “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.”
You cannot bear it now: After hearing about one of the hardest truths of Christianity, they scoffed, they could not bear it (cf. Act 17:32) and Christ foresaw such reactions too and as such he reserved some truths to be revealed by the Holy Spirit (cf. Jn 16:12). Jesus knows our capacities and he will give us the truth according to our capacity to grasp and in the right time. The reality of the resurrection and other mysteries of Christ such as the Eucharist, are still hard for many to grasp. This explains why there’s a high need for the Holy Spirit. Each of us, like Solomon has to pray for that the Holy Spirit that only comes from God, to help us in our discernment (cf. Wis 9:1-12) and we should always pray that God does not remove his Spirit from us (cf. Ps 51:11) but above all, we should never sadden the Holy Spirit (cf. Eph 4:30).
Prayer: Send your Holy Spirit, that she may be with me and toil, and that I may learn what is pleasing to you. (cf. Wis 9:10). Amen.
THE SPIRIT WILL GUIDE US TO THE TRUTH: The Spirit, who proceeds from the Father and Son, leads us to the Father and the Son. He continues to work in creation, He works in our lives, He completes the work of the Saviour in us. We need a spirituality of discernment, as Pope Francis invites us, to be alert to the promptings of the Spirit as He will reveal to us all that Jesus could not during His earthly life. While speaking to Nicodemus in John 3, Jesus said, the wind blows as it wills. The Spirit continues to mediate the experience of God in Jesus, in His own way.
Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful.
OPEN TO THE SPIRIT, OPEN TO TRUTH: The search for truth implies openness to discern the presence of the Spirit. The Spirit is free and is not constrained to a sole place or group of people. It blows whereever it wills (cf. Jn 3:8). We cannot possess it, rather it is the Spirit who possess us. Truth is not an object which we can acquire, possess or claim ownership, since truth is not `something;´ rather, truth is someone. Jesus is the truth (cf. Jn 14:6). Hence, the search for the truth requires in us an openness to the presence of the Spirit. Dialogue with the world, cultures, other religions, other Christian communities and many other interlocutors is obedience to truth. Dialogue is a process led by the Spirit in which we journey together towards the truth. Therefore, we need to recognize and appreciate the other as a gift of the Spirit who can enrich us.