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  • Bill Miller

Scripture Reflection, May 12, 2024, Seventh Sunday of Easter

Acts of the Apostles 1:15-17, 20a, 20c-26 1 John 4:11-16 John 17:11b-19

Our readings today form a powerful prologue to the upcoming celebration of Pentecost, the Birthday of the Church.

The first two readings mention the Holy Spirit by name. And the second reading ends with the famous sentence: ”God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God, and God in him.” (1 John 4:16). There is perhaps no more powerful reference to the Spirit of God in all of sacred Scripture than that one. The gospel alludes to the Holy Spirit, asserting that the Word of God is truth and love - and that is the very essence of the Holy Spirit.

As I explore this concept further, let me begin with a story:

My father was only six years old when his father (my grandfather) passed away. Fortunately, my dad had a loving and active mother, an older brother who was 15, and an older sister who was 10. They all worked together to make sure that my father had the love, nurturing and guidance he needed in order to become a wise and caring man, with great integrity and faith. In that context, dad’s older brother, Dwight, became the most important male role model in my dad’s life.

With that story in mind, I invite you to read today’s gospel passage. Imagine that Jesus is like an older brother and mentor for you. In other words, put yourself in the place of any one of the twelve apostles. Imagine, in a very personal and intimate way, that Jesus is speaking directly about you as he prays to his Father (our Father) in heaven.

I imagine Jesus probably had every one of us in mind when he prayed to the Father regarding his apostles. He prayed for their protection, and ours. He prayed that they would know the joy of the Lord, and that we would, as well. He prayed that they would be consecrated in the truth, and that we would experience the truth of God’s love and power and mercy in the same way. As Christians, we are the spiritual descendants of those twelve individuals - and Jesus loves each one of us every bit as much as he loves them.

The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the living God, is alive and well in each one of us, no matter our shortcomings, our sins, or our station in life. The more fervently and passionately we believe that, the more surely we will know that God’s love is our salvation…and God’s ultimate gift to us!

…something to prayerfully consider in this coming week!

by: Bill Miller

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