He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.
This is an interesting time in the Church calendar. We are still in the Easter time. Still living in the revelation of the resurrection, but not with something directly in front of us to be walking towards.
We Catholics are great pilgrims. We walk the 40 days through Lent. We endure the 4 weeks of Advent. My guess is that if we had to meander the 40 years through the desert, we could probably do it, as long as there was something in front of us. Easter eggs and Christmas stockings are great Catholic motivators.
Which brings us back to this time of the year. We can not really look at the 4th of July as a Catholic motivator. It is something for us to look forward to but …
When we look at the liturgical calendar it appears to be structured around these annual events. Advent Christmas, ordinary time, Lent, Easter, ordinary time and then back to advent again. When you look at it this way it appears sort of monotonous. Advent to Christmas repeat … Lent to Easter repeat … Christmas to Easter repeat … Easter to Christmas repeat. But that is only the case if you look at the holidays and not what they represent.
Advent is our time to prepare for the coming of our savior and Christmas is that gift of His coming into our lives. Lent is the time for us to prepare for the gift of our salvation and Easter is the time that our salvation has been won for us.
It reminds me of when I used to help our children with their homework. They would come home with a new math concept. Say the times tables. We would sit down at the kitchen table and work through 2 times 2 until they got it. They would go away and work through what they had learned until they could get from 2 time 2 all the way to 12 times 12. Christmas morning! 12 times 12 is 144. And for weeks they would work with that new found knowledge until one day they would come home with 235 time 172. Again, we would sit down and work through 235 times 2 and then 235 times 7 … until they understood that 235 times 172 equaled 40,420. They don’t do math that way anymore but you guys understand what I am getting at.
The point is that helping them with their math homework involved a series of visit, help, celebrate and then leave them alone. Advent, Christmas, Ordinary, Lent, Easter, Ordinary.
And the funny thing was that the next year the times tables were old hat. The next year it was Geometry and triangles, or Algebra and theorems, or Calculus and derivations.
When we think of our faith journey, we can understand asking God for help with our “homework”. If Advent is asking for help to receive knowledge, wisdom, understand on Christmas morning, the following ordinary time is the time that we need to work through that gift. And if Lent is the time that we pray for the strength and courage to put this newly received gift into the world so that we can help others Easter is that day that we celebrate the sacrifice of putting that gift into action for others.
And it never gets boring or monotonous because next year we have progressed in our journey where we have graduated from the times tables to triangles or theorems. Each year we celebrate a new Christmas gift and put in place a new Easter resolution.
This all sounds very complicated, or very circular, or very taxing, but its not. It is all very human. It starts with I can’t wait to meet you, and then you are here. It evolves to I will be so sorry to see you go, and then you are gone. The exciting part is what did I learn and what do I do with it. That’s where we are now. That is this time after Easter but in the Easter time.
Alleluia He is Risen, what do I do with that.
Today’s Gospel is all about what did we learn and what are we going to do about it.
For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God. That is what we learned, He speaks the word of God, he lives the word of God, he is the word of God. And, “He does not ration His gift of the Spirit.” We have all the help that we need, whenever we need it for whoever we are called to help.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
The one who comes from above is above all.
The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things.
But the one who comes from heaven is above all.
He testifies to what he has seen and heard,
but no one accepts his testimony.
Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy.
For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God.
He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.
The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life,
but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life,
but the wrath of God remains upon him.
April 28, 2022
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