Reflection & Dialogue: The Holy Spirit guides the Church to be faithful to Christ’s teaching

A theme running through the first reading and the Gospel reading today is the guiding presence of the Holy Spirit with the Church. The Christian mission from its very beginnings to our own day has been one of developments, development in the understanding of God’s message to Israel through Moses and the Prophets and developments in the understanding of the relation of the Son with the Father. These are developments that demanded, and still demand, faith. Jesus in his own lifetime was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. After his resurrection the apostles were commanded by him to preach the Gospel to all peoples. Paul was chosen by God to be the apostle to the pagans, the gentiles, to preach salvation through faith in Jesus, without the prior requirement of the Jewish law. Jesus had left no blueprint how this was to be worked out. It had to be done under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We see from the first reading how this occurred.

            The Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, links the church of each age with Jesus, reminding it of all Jesus has said. This does not apply just to development in doctrine, as for instance in the relation of Jesus to the Father, as God of God, begotten not made, and such like. The Holy Spirit also reminds the Church of Jesus’ love for all strata of humanity, the marginalized and all others, challenging each generation to renew itself after the model of Jesus, m devotion, in the breaking of bread (the Eucharist, the Mass) and in prayer.

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