LIFE MATTERS: The Spirit will come – Reflections on John 16: 12-15

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By Dr. Dencio Acop (Ret. Col.)

The Spirit will come.

What did Jesus mean by the Spirit of truth? How does the Spirit of truth impact us?

Before ascending back to the Father, Jesus spoke to the disciples about the Spirit of truth who will guide them to the whole truth. Further, the Lord said that the Spirit will be revealing things from the Father and glorify the Son. Clearly, the passage talks about the Holy Trinity at work in the world and the whole universe. And that, in a way, the Spirit will continue to do the work of looking after the people of God even beyond Jesus who became man and whose earthly life was finite. That what Jesus could not reveal within his human existence, the Spirit will. Jesus also spoke about the fact that the disciples saw Him for a time and then will no longer see Him, only to find Him again. These are references to the Holy Spirit who will descend upon the disciples as Jesus ascends to the Father. The Trinitarian presence has its whole emphasis within the Catholic faith. Especially in the sacraments. Always invoking the grace bestowed by God upon those in His favor through His various blessings and tender mercies. Baptism for instance, welcomes the soul into the community of God’s people while on earth. Confirmation affirms this welcome strengthening it in the soul’s growing wisdom and affinity to everything that is of God. The Holy Eucharist is the summit of the Christian faith. It is the supreme form of adoration as Bishop Robert Barron puts it, wherein heaven and earth meet and the Holy Trinity is made manifest. Reconciliation helps to ensure that the faithful remains in the grace of God lest he fall away to his demise. Matrimony seals the deepest union between a man and a woman which is the foundation of the Body of Christ – the Christian family. Holy Orders makes possible the liturgical existence of the church through the ordained priesthood sanctifying the people of God through the sacraments. And anointing prepares the soul for its restoration back into being ordered with God from bodily sickness and spiritual death.

The Spirit of truth is the continuing presence of the Father and the Son in the world. The Creator of the universe is the mystical essence of being. His spirit particularly dwells in His creatures who are open to it by virtue of their chosen free will to love God back along with fellow creatures. Unbeknown to many, the Spirit makes possible the continued ordering of things according to the divine plan of God for His creation. People may feel that they alone are the masters of their own existence and achievements but remain ignorant of the fact that they are only able to exist and achieve because of the providence of God. It may sound incredible to the ears of the unbeliever but it is nevertheless true. The evidence can be found in the human narrative up and down the centuries. One only needs to look them up.

So many miracles have happened. Many of them are thoroughly documented. I for one can sense the power of the Spirit at work in my life if I think and recall these many small instances hard enough. Many events in human history clearly point to the intervention and constant presence of the Spirit. The Spirit that at times enabled messengers and even the Holy Mother to guide back humanity to the path of righteousness. There are the Marian miracles. The Eucharistic miracles. War interventions. Daily miracles in the lives of the faithful. At times even in the lives of the unfaithful. Proof that God’s love is inclusive rather than exclusive. I thought the EDSA Revolution was a miracle because it was bloodless despite the guns. I was among the military rebels in Camp Crame at the time and I can still recall the euphoria that accompanied the miracle that was EDSA. Clearly, the Spirit was at work through those four days in February. Even though this covid pandemic, I know that the Spirit of truth continues to do its work. Ordering the world back to its Creator’s divine plan.