The Holy Spirit Guides the Church
On the Sixth Sunday of Easter, from the Gospel of St. John, Jesus tells of the coming Holy Spirit:
“The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name – he will teach you everything and remind you of all that (I) told you.” -John 14:26, NAB
Here, in this one verse, we see proof for the existence of the Holy Trinity. Jesus, the Son, tells us that the Father will send the Holy Spirit to be with the Apostles, so that the Holy Spirit will continue to guide and teach them as they begin to spread the Church.
Pentecost, the day that we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit, is only weeks away, and today’s verse is preparing us for it – just as Jesus was preparing His disciples. He wanted to let them know the purpose of the Holy Spirit’s arrival in advance.
The Holy Spirit guides the Church now that Jesus is gone. The first reading confirms it. In Acts 15:27-29, during the Council of Jerusalem, leaders of the early Church described how the Holy Spirit guided their decisions. So from the very beginning, the Advocate has helped the Church have a better understanding of Christ’s teachings.
Continuing what began 2,000 years ago, the Holy Spirit guides the Church today, as well. For instance, the Holy Spirit recently guided the conclave into choosing Cardinal Bergoglio as the next pope – the man who became Pope Francis. The Holy Spirit was also present at Vatican II – helping our leaders make some difficult – yet important – decisions.
God knew that we would need assistance with our newfound faith. If we are to take Christianity to the corners of the world, we would need His direct support in our lives. In that way, the Holy Spirit goes beyond guiding just the leaders of the Church, He assists average Catholics like ourselves, also.
Living our faith daily can be a challenge, and the Holy Spirit is there to help us. He guides us to making the right decisions. He comforts us in our times of need. He gives us strength when we cannot find it within ourselves. The Holy Spirit guides the Church by empowering each of its individuals.
From the Council of Jerusalem until today, the Holy Spirit has been guiding the Church’s every step. He is with our leaders as they make important decisions, and He is with us for the smallest of choices. May the Holy Spirit continue to bless us with His guidance as we continue this journey of faith.