Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit

Praised be Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!

At the end of the Easter Season, the Church brings us back to the upper room where Christ first appeared to his disciples on the evening of Easter Sunday. Recalling the events on that evening helps us see Pentecost in the perspective of the Paschal Mystery. Before our Lord passed over from the world to his Father, he told his disciples that it would be better for him to leave for if he did not do so, the Paraclete would never come. But if he leaves them, he will send the Holy Spirit from his throne at the right hand of the Father. By his passion and death, the Lord Jesus entered into his glory. Thus, as he rose from death, he gave the Holy Spirit to his disciples when he appeared to them. He breathed into them and said: Receive the Holy Spirit. Whatever sins you forgive, they are forgiven.

By dying on the Cross, the Lord Jesus reconciled us with his Father. His death atoned for our sins. This forgiveness of our sins is brought about by the coming of the Holy Spirit. The coming of the Holy Spirit and his dwelling in our souls is the sure sign that all is forgiven and we have been reconciled to God. Adam and Eve enjoyed the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. When God created Adam, he breathed into this creature and so Adam became a living being. This Divine Breath that animated Adam was the Holy Spirit. However, both our first parents lost this indwelling of the Holy Spirit when they sinned. Thus, although they were physically alive, they were spiritually dead. Thus, St. Paul says: Through the disobedience of one man, sin entered the world and together with sin entered death. Without the Holy Spirit, man would be spiritually dead. And this spiritual death is the inheritance which our first parents gave all humanity. This is called Original sin. Every human being is born deprived of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who gives life to the soul. Thus, St. Paul says: all men have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God. The glory of God did not dwell in the human soul as the consequence of the sin of our first parents.

Thus, when Jesus died and rose from the dead, he restored to us what sin has taken away. He restored to us the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Because of the Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit returns to his temple which is the soul of the baptized. By baptism, we received the Holy Spirit. We are no longer deprived of the glory of God because God the Holy Spirit dwells in us. Original sin, which is the deprivation of the soul of the glory of God, is taken away by Baptism because the Holy Spirit returns to the soul and dwells in us as in a temple. The Holy Spirit dwelling in us brings to us the forgiveness of our sins. He sanctifies us and makes us participate in the communion of the Holy. The Holy Spirit in us gives us a foretaste of the future resurrection. The Holy Spirit dwelling in us allows us to enter into the dwelling of the Blessed Trinity: My Father will love him and we shall come to him and dwell in him. The Holy Spirit seals us and marks us for redemption.

Through the waters of Baptism the Holy Spirit brought about our rebirth. We were reborn as Children of God. We were reborn into the Church, the community of the redeemed. Let us rejoice today for the Holy Spirit has created us anew. We are a new creation. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And you shall renew the face of the earth.

Jesus, I trust in you! O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

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