Saturday, October 15, 2011

Counting on the Spirit

Today's Gospel ends with encouragement from the Lord: Even in the most dire circumstances, when we are brought to the law, on trial for the Gospel, we don't have to prepare our defense. The Holy Spirit will be the one to speak, giving us the right words at the right time.
I don't know about you, but sometimes I have my doubts about this. How many times I have been on the spot, and the words that came out certainly didn't seem to have much of the Holy Spirit about them, even though I may have been praying up a storm! But then, for one thing, I am not exactly completely docile to the Holy Spirit, and may have intruded upon the Spirit's action even while imploring it. More importantly, though, I wonder how many times my negative evaluation of the outcome is based on my own presumption of just what constitutes an acceptable outcome in the first place. What if the Holy Spirit really has disposed that my awkward or incomplete contribution is just that--an incomplete contribution to a much bigger project: a pebble in the cement of a magnificent complex. I want to see my words bear fruit (fruit that I can recognize) immediately; the Holy Spirit takes the long view.
So the challenge is one of faith, that characteristic virtue of Abraham (cf the first reading!). If we can begin to relinquish not only control of events, but of their evaluation, I'll bet we will become more and more docile to the Spirit--and thus more and more available as a member of the living body of Christ to let Christ live in us.
Here's a great little prayer from Fr. Alberione that I love to say in this regard: "Live in us, O Jesus, with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit!"

No comments: