Thought of the day
Monday, May 2, 2016

Monday of the Sixth week of Easter

"You also testify"

Everything has been accomplished which remained to be done on earth; but it still remained necessary that we should “share and participate in the divine nature” of the Word (2Pt 1,4) - that is, that we should put away our life and be utterly transformed and launched on a new way of holy living... For I think it is true to say that, while Christ was still present in bodily form among those who believed in him, he was revealed to them as one who conferred every good gift; but since the time and the need were now calling him to be carried up to his Father in heaven, it was necessary for him to be present through the Spirit with those who worshipped him, and to “dwell in our hearts through faith” (Eph 3,17). 

It is easy to prove from the Old and New Testaments that the Spirit changes the character of those among whom he comes to dwell, and transforms their life. The holy man Samuel, when speaking to Saul, said: “The Spirit of the Lord will come mightily on you, and you will be turned into another man” (1Sam 10,6). Saint Paul said: “We all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into the same likeness from one degree of glory to another; and this comes from the Lord, the Spirit; for the Lord is the Spirit” (2Cor 3,18).

You can see, then, that the Spirit re-creates, so tos peak, in a new pattern those among whom he is seen to dwell. He readily replaces their desire to think earthly thoughts with the desire to fix their gaze only on the things of heaven; he changes their unmanly cowardice into the spirit of courage. We can certainly see that the disciples experienced this: the Spirit became their armor, so that they did not yield to the attacks of their persecutors but held fast to the love of Christ. And so the truth of our Savior's words can be seen: “It is to your advantage that I go away to heaven” (Jn 16,7). For that was the time for the descent of the Spirit.