Beginning with the Sunday’s readings of the 6th Sunday of Easter, our focus starts to change from a concentration on Jesus, our Risen Savior, to the gift He and the Father have given us, the gift of the Holy Spirit. In the upcoming week, we will celebrate the Ascension of the Lord, Jesus’s return to the Father in Heaven, which He himself said was necessary and good for us, because otherwise He could not give us the Holy Spirit, our Consoler. Then the following week we will celebrate the Feast of the Holy Spirit, Pentecost. So, today, we begin a sort of two-week Advent, in which we prepare ourselves for the Celebration of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity and His essential role in our Christian Lives.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus promises that He will ask the Father to send us the Spirit of Truth to be with us always. God the Father heard that prayer. He sends him to every Catholic in a special way at his/her confirmation, when the bishop anoints us with sacred chrism and says “be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.” And He sends him again to fill us during every celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, when the priest prays efficaciously to God the Father: “Grant that we, who are nourished by the body and blood of the Lord, may be filled with His Holy Spirit.”
This Holy Spirit abides in us as long as we remain in the state of Sanctifying Grace. It is He who helps us to venerate the Lord in our hearts, as St. Peter writes in the second reading. It is He who helps us to cry out to God with joy, as we did in the responsorial psalm.
Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the Consoler. God, the Father of all consolations, has given us the Holy Spirit to console us in every trial or hardship. In this preparation for Pentecost which we begin today, we should pray to God that we might go ever more to the Holy Spirit for our consolation. The Holy Spirit will help us to change our lives if we ask Him to, and give us that consolation that nothing can take away. He will also inspire us, as well, to be consolers to others, many of whom, in their physical and spiritual suffering, so desperately need that consolation that can come only from God. But often God wants to give them that consolation they need through us.
Jesus took flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin when the Holy Spirit overshadowed her. What is about to happen is perhaps an even greater miracle, when, through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus will take flesh again from what was formerly mere bread and wine. Let us pray that, nourished by spiritually receiving Our Blessed Lord during this Most Holy Eucharist I’m celebrating with each of you spiritually present, that we be made into fitting temples of the Holy Spirit, fit to receive Jesus, and fit to venerate Him in our hearts now and forever. Amen.