*Cluster 4 Household Topic
Reflections from John 15:26-16:4
True friendship is strengthened in adversity. Jesus offers His disciples the best and truest of friends. Who is this promised friend?
Jesus calls the Holy Spirit our Counselor and Advocate (also translated Paraclete or Helper). Counselor is a legal term for the one who will defend someone against an adversary and who guides that person during the ordeal of trial. The Holy Spirit is our Advocate and Helper who brings us safely through the challenges and adversities we must face in this life. As Jesus approaches the hour that He was to be glorified - through His death on the cross and His resurrection - He revealed more fully to His disciples the person and the role of the Holy Spirit. What does Jesus tell us about the Holy Spirit?
First, the Holy Spirit is inseparably one with the Father and the Son. It is the Holy Spirit who gives life - the very life of God - and who kindles faith in hearts receptive to God's word. The Spirit makes it possible for us to know God personally. He gives us experiential knowledge of God as our Father. The Spirit witnesses to our spirit that the Father has indeed sent His Son into the world to redeem it and has raised His Son Jesus from the dead and has seated Him at His right hand in glory and power. The Holy Spirit reveals to us the knowledge, wisdom and plan of God for the ages and the Spirit enables us to see with the "eyes of faith" what the Father and the Son are doing. Through the gift and working of the Holy Spirit we become witnesses to the great work of God in Christ Jesus. Jesus warned His disciples that they could expect persecution just as Jesus was opposed and treated with hostility. We have been given the Holy Spirit to help us live as disciples of Jesus Christ. The Spirit gives us courage and perseverance when we meet adversities and challenges.
Do you pray for the Holy Spirit to strengthen you in faith, hope and love and to give you courage and perseverance with hope when you meet adversities and challenges?
"O merciful God, fill our hearts, we pray, with the graces of Your Holy Spirit; with love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control. Teach us to love those who hate us, to pray for those who despitefully use us, that we may be the children of Your love, our Father, who makes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. In adversity grant us grace to be patient; in prosperity keep us humble; may we guard the door of our lips; may we lightly esteem the pleasures of this world, and thirst after heavenly things; through Jesus Christ our Lord."