HOLY SPIRIT, COME!
Fr. Przemysław Podlejski SAC
My colleague, giving a catechesis about the Holy Spirit in a kindergarten, at the end of the meeting he asked little kids to draw the Holy Spirit. On the sheets he expected to see - obviously - pigeons. The kids quickly got down to work. Indeed, after some time Fr. Mirek saw a symbol of the Holy Spirit in various sizes and colours. However, there was an exception…..'Oh, what a lovely picture, but where is the Holy Spirit?'- the surprised priest asked a little boy. The boy answered seriously that: 'I did not draw the Holy Spirit, because I have never seen him, so I do not know what the Holy Spirit looks like. But, instead, I have drawn two young peacocks…'. Getting down to writing this text, I would rather use the excuse of the kid from the kindergarten, because how to express the truth about the Holy Spirit? How to 'draw' Him? However, even if we do not see the Holy Spirit, we can say something about Him and say without any doubt.
Surely the Holy Spirit gives us a new life. When Jesus came to his disciples after His Resurrection, he breathed at them and said: 'Take the Holy Spirit!'(J 20.22). In the New Testament the word: 'breathe' is only in this place, whereas in the Old Testament it is in the very beginning. Creating the man, God 'breathed the breath of life into his nostrils'(the Genesis 2.7). In the Book of Ezekiel there is quite a mysterious fragment presenting a return of dry bones to life. God says: 'Here I am giving you the spirit, so that you would live. I want to surround you with tendons and make you grow in the body, and give you skin and give you the spirit, so that you would live' (Ez 37. 5-6). So, God's spirit gives life! The Risen Jesus gives his disciples, that is, us a new Life.
Next, the Holy Spirit is our defender. We can be sure about it. St. John the Apostle names the Holy Spirit the Paraclete a few times in his Gospel. The Greek term Paracletos is translated as a Comforter, but it does not reflect a full meaning, because paracletos also means: somebody who gives encouragement, help, comfort, advocate, spokesman. In ancient Greece paracletos was a person speaking in the court in the defence of a convict. The Holy Spirit wakes us from lethargy, inspires, helps and is our advocate, that is, a defender.
And, finally, the Holy Spirit leads us to our destination, that is, salvation. When the Apostles had heard from their Master before his crucifixion that He was going to His Father, they got very sad… No wonder, that their reaction was such, as they felt safe with Jesus. It was Him who had led them. And now, would everything end? But Jesus assured them: 'My departure is useful for you. Because if I do not depart, the Comforter will not come to you. And if I depart, I will send Him to you (…). But if He comes to you, the Spirit of Truth will lead you to the whole truth' (see J 16.5-13). No, the company of God has not ended. He is still with us and leads us to the Heaven.
In the Upper Room, during the Pentecost, the Apostles became different people. Since then they had preached the Gospel in a brave way, going to the ends of the world. They received a new Life, so they started sharing it with others. They let the Holy Spirit lead them and He was helping them, comforting and defending them.
Let's call the Holy Spirit and let's open ourselves up to His Power, so that we could experience the same. A few years ago, one of bishops at a meeting with the youth said that the Holy Spirit is like a GPS - he leads us to our Father. It happens that the navigation sometimes fails…The Holy Spirit never fails. He will never lead us astray.