But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the
counselor will not come to you;
but if I go, I will send him to you
John 16: 7.
The disciples could not help themselves; their hearts were troubled and the repeated predictions of the Lord about his impending death and departure troubled them. Now the meal was over and the table cleared. The tone of the Saviour changed. He began to speak urgently about life without his physical presence. He promised the Father would send another Comforter and Counselor, who would be with them in ways that Jesus, limited by his humanity, could not be. The new indwelling presence would be the Holy Spirit.
And today we celebrate and utilize the strengthening, affirming, curative powers of the Holy Spirit as we are gathered by God's grace to be anointed for the burial of our imperfections and sinfulness because as St. Paul explains it for us, "...now consider yourselves dead to sin but alive for God in Jesus Christ" Romans 6: 11.
This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you and he will be in you John 14: 17. After constantly praying as well as reading and meditating during this sacred season we again speak with our God and ask him to speak to us. He instructs us, He commands us and He directs us. We have sinned and are inclined to sinfulness, so we approach the Spirit and giver of life to strengthen us, to enrich us with heavenly grace because no one can make poor those whom He makes rich, because those who are supplied with heavenly food cannot be poor or deprived.
When we bear it is we ourselves, it is us who are being perfected, golden ceilings and houses with costly appointments seem dull in comparison to the dwelling in which our Creator God lives and in which the Holy Spirit strengthens us to persevere in this tempting and imperfect world so we can live and reign with him for all eternity.
We come to be anointed today with life-affirming oils to decorate our soul with the colors of innocence. We come to illuminate ourselves with the light of justice and holiness so the values of Christ, embedded in our immortal being will never decay with
We are here to be strengthened against temptation, to be affirmed in devotion and loyalty to Christ. We are receiving heavenly insight to avoid the distraction of temptation and evil. We are imparted with the grace of Christ to avoid confusion in choosing what is honorable and salutary. We are visiting the Upper Room in Jerusalem where the Holy Spirit descended on the original twelve and left them strengthened and loyally certain. We desire to remain in a beauty that is continually vivid, in perfect honor, in permanent splendor which cannot decay nor be destroyed. We are here this evening to be fashioned into greater perfection.
As we pray and meditate about it, we come to realize and recognize if we are believers in Jesus Christ, we are the home of the Holy Spirit of God! He dwells us in us. It should be living reality in our lives. We come today that our defects, our shortcomings are overcome, that we never lose sight of being temples of the Holy Spirit and thus live and act in a way that reflects his presence in us.
If we do so, we will never be helpless or powerless, for He promises to be with us and in us. We will never be without a divine friend or without solid direction for He promises to lead us and walk with us.
The Church of God is excited to share these truths and heavenly realities with faithful but often times weak believers so that life in Christ is empowered and we enjoy its wonder. Today's celebratory reality should be guarded and cherished in our hearts and souls. It should not be allowed to slip away or be obscured. As believers in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is in us to help and not only maintain the truth of revelation received from heaven, but to open up many others besides.
I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you John 14: 18. Jesus, seeing the anxious faces and noting Peter's fearful question, Lord I do not understand, where are you going" John 13: 36? is eager to assure them, "I will manifest myself to you." So Jesus is telling the disciples and us, "Look, having broken into time space capsule of Planet Earth and lived for a time among you, you certainly cannot think I am going to leave you do you? For in that case what would those have who come after you? Only the written record of me as historical figure! There would be no contemporary expression of God, the Father, of me, for future generations. It cannot be that way. I will remain
We not only follow in the footsteps of Christ during this week of the Passion, but we become the disciples of the Holy Spirit as well. Today we are here because we appreciate Christ, we honor him, love and adore him because He is so good, so kind so awesome; He is wonderful. And all this because of the inspiration and insight given us by the grace of this healing sacramental Mystery in which the Holy Spirit reigns and thrives and heals our souls!
Today our Lord, through this sacramental Mystery assures us our Helper is always with us, standing by for any protection we need, present for any emergency. To him be all glory, worship and adoration, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and ever and forever. Amen.