I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW | Let the Holy Spirit guide you through Scripture

Pentecost belongs to sinners only! Pentecost is neither for the angels nor for the saints. They do not need it; we sinners do. Every day every sinner is confronted with an inner rebellion. There are no exceptions! We all have a choice to follow our human spirit, the Evil Spirit or the Holy Spirit; all too often we follow the human spirit and sometimes the Evil Spirit.

In today's Gospel, Jesus says, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." Should you think that you do not need the Holy Spirit because you always keep God's commandments perfectly, then Pentecost is not for you. If you want to be saved, then admit that you, like everybody else, need Pentecost.

Jesus foresaw that the Apostles would fail, so He promised the Apostles that His Father would send them the Holy Spirit. For three years Jesus daily observed their weaknesses. He knew then that they needed more help. He knows now that you and I need the same help. That is why Jesus tells us in today's Gospel, "And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you always."

In abandoning Jesus during His passion, the Apostles sinned grievously. Yet, when the crisis was past, they repented of their abandonment, received the fullness of the Holy Spirit and went on to live virtuous lives!

If anyone reading this might happen to be a clandestine adulterer or adulteress, or one who has cooperated in an abortion, or who is practicing artificial contraception, or is having sexual relations with a person of the same gender, or anyone who has committed murder or is planning to commit murder, I want you to know that you are not beyond God's grasp through the Holy Spirit.

The Gospel is filled with persons just like you! You are not a hopeless case! You have undoubtedly made the mistake of following your own weak spirit, and then perhaps also the Evil Spirit. Yet the Holy Spirit is on your case. In the Gospels, Jesus did not withhold His mercy from anyone. He even offered it to Judas, but Judas chose not to accept it and chose despair instead.

If you think that the Holy Spirit is only for holy people, then you need a good soaking in Jesus, as the Way and the Truth and the Life! Jesus does tell us that the Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin. It is a joy to be convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit, rather than be condemned by our own spirit, or by the Accuser of the Brethren! When the Holy Spirit convicts us, we feel loved by God, even though ashamed! The woman caught in adultery knew Jesus loved her, even though she also felt shame.

If you have condemned yourself because of your sins, then you need the conviction of the Holy Spirit that God loves you and hungers to pour out His mercy upon your soul and transform you.

If you consider yourself a hardened sinner, then you need "The Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name ... ." (He) "will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you."

If you really feel hopeless, it is probably because you have spent more time watching television than reading the word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit. You can turn this around.

No matter in what stage of the spiritual life you are, reading the word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit is essential if you want to make progress in overcoming sin. God really does speak to our hearts when we read His word and prayerfully reflect on it.

Who of us are not discouraged from time to time because of one or several weakness we have discovered? That is why reading God's word, reflecting on it and applying it to our lives is so effective. When we ask the Holy Spirit to open our eyes and our hearts to a passage of Scripture, He will do what we ask of Him! As we prayerfully read a few passages and then spend some time reflecting on these passages, our eyes and our hearts will be opened. This is how the Holy Spirit of Pentecost touches our hearts with God's truth!

We will see our faults more clearly, but we will also feel loved, because the same God who speaks the truth about our weaknesses rejoices to give us the graces to repent and to change. This brings inner freedom, joy and hope.

If you want to learn more about yourself, ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten you to apply the Scripture passages to your life. Scripture will always measure where you stand in your relationship to God and neighbor. (Wouldn't you rather be measured by the word of God in quiet prayer than by your spouse or your closest friends? I would.) Scripture will always promise you hope through the Holy Spirit. Scripture will always serve as truth and light that enters your inner darkness and confusion, to bring healing, forgiveness and freedom.

When you read the word of God under the power of the Holy Spirit, God is beginning to reclaim you. You may not be ready to go to confession, or perhaps you are in a state where you cannot receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. However, God wants to reclaim your heart and show you the way back to Him!

No matter how far away we are from God, or how close we think we are to God, reading Scripture under the power of the Holy Spirit is a life-changing experience. If the Holy Spirit of Pentecost can inflame the hearts of the Apostles with God's love, than He can and will do the same for us!

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