Friday, June 24, 2016

Daily Thought For June 24, 2016

The Amazing Work of the Holy Spirit

Moreover, the Greek work parakletos can be translated in yet another way: it also means “advocate”. A verse from the Book of Revelation might help us to understand it better: “And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God’ ” (Rev 12:10). Someone who does not love God with all his heart does not love man, either. Those who deny God quickly become persons who destroy nature and accuse men, because accusing other men and nature enables them to justify their opposition to God: a God who has made this cannot be good! That is their logic. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, is not an accuser; he is an advocate and defender of mankind and creation. God himself takes the side of men and creatures. Within creation, God affirms and defends himself by coming to our defense. God is for us; we see that clearly throughout the earthly life of Jesus: he is the only one who takes our side, becomes one with us even unto death. Saint Paul’s awareness of this prompted an outburst of joy:

  If God is for us, who is against us?… Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies; who is to condemn? Is it Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us?… For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 8:31–39)

This God is for us a cause of joy, and we want to celebrate him. To know him and to acknowledge him is of great importance in our time. We are remembering the terrible days of the Second World War, happy that the dictator Hitler has disappeared along with all his atrocities and that Europe has been able to regain its freedom. But we cannot forget the fact that, even today, the world suffers from atrocious threats and cruelties. To corrupt and exploit the image of God is as dangerous as the denial of God that was part and parcel of the twentieth-century ideologies and of the totalitarian regimes that sprang from them, turning the world into an arid desert, outside and inside, to the very depths of the soul. Precisely at this historical moment, Europe and the world need the presence of God that was revealed in Jesus; they need God to stay close to mankind through the Holy Spirit. It is part of our responsibility as Christians to see to it that God remains in our world, that he is present to it as the one and only force capable of preserving mankind from self-destruction

Ratzinger, J. (2007). Europe Today and Tomorrow: Addressing the Fundamental Issues. (M. J. Miller, Trans.) (pp. 103–106). San Francisco: Ignatius Press.