“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Cor 13:13).
With these words, John Paul II explained the origin and inspiration of the first and second encyclicals of his pontificate: Redemptor hominis and Dives in misericordia, “celebrating as they do the event of our salvation accomplished in the Son, sent by the Father into the world, that the world might be saved through him (Jn 3:17) . . . [and] every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:11). In his encyclical on the Holy Spirit Dominum vivificantem, John Paul continued: “From this (same) exhortation now comes the present encyclical on the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father and the Son; with the Father and the Son he is adored and glorified: a divine Person, he is at the center of the Christian faith and is the source and dynamic power of the Church’s renewal.”
Thus in the Great Circle of Love, we come to the place whereby we meditate on the mission of the Holy Spirit and His Life in the Body of Christ. We have already seen the centrality of His role in the lives of Jesus, the Son of God, and the Virgin Mary. As with them, we need to understand His place in our own lives.
John Paul II added: “In our own age, then, we are called anew by the ever ancient and ever new faith of the Church, to draw near to the Holy Spirit as the giver of life….The Church is also responding to certain deep desires which she believes she can discern in people’s hearts today: a fresh discovery of God in his transcendent reality as the infinite Spirit, just as Jesus presents him to the Samaritan woman; the need to adore him ‘in spirit and truth’ (cf. Jn 4:24,) the hope of finding in him the secret of love and the power of a ‘new creation'(cf. Rm 8:22; Gal 6:15): yes, precisely the giver of life.”
Let us internalize these thoughts and ponder them, as we begin our reflections on the role of the Holy Spirit in our journey to the Father’s House. Much has been contemplated already, simply because of the relationship of the Holy Spirit with Jesus and Mary, but we need to ponder and take seriously the mission of the Holy Spirit in the context of our own restoration and rehabilitation. Jesus confirmed this when He told the Apostles: “But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you…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 (Jn 16:7-15).” Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit! Amen.