Acts 17:15-22-18:1; Psalm 148; John 16:12-15
In the First Reading, St Paul speaks in Athens, a city immersed in idolatry, where they have gods for almost all aspects of their lives. Just to make sure they do not offend gods whom they do not know, they put up an altar to an unknown god. Paul confidently says he knows who this unknown god is: the God who made the world and everything in it. He does not live in shrines nor does he need to be served. This is the God everyone searches for, blindly grope towards him hoping to find him. This is a fact of life, that we search for God. There is an emptiness within every human being that is filled only by God. Some run after things like drugs, alcohol, sex and even people, hoping these satisfy them. But we cannot find God in them because God does not dwell in created things.
St Paul calls people to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed. The word translated as repent literally means amid exercising of the mind. It is to think differently, to open our minds so we can see what God is revealing. God has given us many things to prove he exists. The Church teaches we can know the reality of God by using human reason. The Psalm today speaks of this: Heaven and earth are full of your glory. All creation point to the reality of God.
However, knowing God exists is different from knowing God himself, having a relationship with him. This relationship with God is prompted by the Holy Spirit, who, according to Jesus, will guide you into all the truth. This Truth is the same Truth Jesus speaks, because the Holy Spirit cannot contradict Jesus who speaks what the Father says. God cannot contradict himself.
The Holy Spirit speaks to glorify Jesus because by doing so, he glorifies the Father. We see here then, the revelation of the Trinity, the Three Persons in One God. God the Father is the source of all things and he has give all to Jesus. Jesus in turn, gives all to the Spirit to declare what Jesus gives. The Trinity then is made up of Persons, who give of themselves. Since God is God, this giving will never end. God wants to give us life. He wants to give us joy. He wants to give us rest. He sent Jesus to prove this. He sent the Holy Spirit to declare this. It is now up to us to accept and believe this fact: we can share in the life of God through Jesus Christ. The reason for this is so we can tell people of this relationship God wants for others.
Yes, we will have sufferings in life. We will have difficulties. Through these, some turn to things or people to help them, to satisfy their feeling of emptiness. Yet, God is our ONLY Help. He is the only One who can fill the void in our lives. He does this by allowing us to share in the life in the Trinity, one of eternal sharing, of giving, of love. This life is one that gives fullness of life, and joy and peace.
If right now, you feel empty, distressed, afraid. If you are searching for peace. God wants to share his life with you. If you feel guilty or ashamed of what you had done, if you feel God cannot forgive you, if you think there is no hope for you, no future for you, listen, God loves you and he wants to heal you, he wants to forgive you, he wants to give you hope in your life. God created you for eternal life with him, to enter his rest. He calls you to be his child, to inherit a kingdom that will never end. Turn to God through Jesus. Ask the Holy Spirit to remind you of what Jesus said. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus to you.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful. Enkindle in them, the fire of your love. Come and fill my heart. I am tired from all the troubles I have. I am afraid. I feel guilt and shame for what I have done. Yet you are the Giver of Life, the Spirit of Truth, come into my life. Speak to me, tell me what Jesus said, so I may know the Truth that sets me free. I want to know and believe, God cares about me. I want to know and believe, God wants to heal me. I want to know and believe. God loves me and wants me to have life, in superabundance! Change my heart Lord. Turn my heart to Jesus so I can accept him as my Lord and Savior.