The Spirit of God: the Holy Spirit
(6th of Easter)

The Gospel: John 14: 15 - 21

It is not a personal property: it is a gift. A gift, that needs to be prayed for. A gift, that is not so much an individual gift, but a gift prayed for and received by the community of the Church. And then it is meant to build up the Church. As we have heard (Acts 8: 5 - 8, 14 - 17), when Peter and John arrived in Samaria where they prayed and laid hands on people in the community and the Holy Spirit came down on them.

First of all, the spirit of God reveals to us, who Jesus is. Any advance in our faith is only possible in the Holy Spirit. "This is my beloved Son", the Father says on the Mountain of the Transfiguration, "listen to him". In our hours of prayer and of meditation we need to get to know Jesus intimately, so that he can truly call us "friends".

The Spirit of God can be alive in our community, and although we cannot see Jesus with our bodily eyes, he lives and he gives us life. The Spirit of God always calls us forth into a deeper communion with God and with one another. The Spirit of God does not break up a community or favours a single person over against a community.

God's Spirit will wake up and enliven our dead. And the children in the Sudan, who starved to death; all the innocent victims of wars and of brutality; the drowned refugees in the sea at Lampedusa: these and our relatives, teachers and friends, long dead and gone. Scripture says: "God is a God of the living, not of the dead." Before God, all people are alive.

We are praying for this Spirit, begging God for this Spirit, imploring God to send us this Spirit. God gives freely, but it is a gift. God is the author. So many times every day, whenever a group of Christians gets together to pray for example the prayer of the Church, the "office", we pray that the leaders of the Church and all christian leaders may receive a share of this gift, we call "The Spirit of God". It is so necessary.

God's Spirit is selfless, generous and loving. We only need to "read" and understand the life of Jesus in order to spell out, what the Spirit of God can achieve in a person's life.

Though they were also sinners -like we are- the Saints of God had their lives transformed and made new by the Power of God's Spirit, a spirit of holiness, peace and of love. May we be changed, like the gifts of bread and wine on which the Holy Spirit is invoked, may our whole lives be changed into true brothers and sisters of Christ, the Son of the living God. Amen.