Word To Life May 25

Jeff Hedglen

North Texas Catholic

5/21/2014

May 25, Sixth Sunday of Easter.
Cycle A. Readings:

1) Acts 8:5-8, 14-17
    Psalm 66:1-7, 16, 20
2) 1 Peter 3:15-18
Gospel) John 14:15-21

 

 

 

Every time I hear this Sunday’s Gospel I am reminded of the second bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth. The memory stems from the first confirmation ceremony I was charged with coordinating as a new youth minister at the age of 23.

I was nervous, wanting to be sure the candidates would be able to answer any question Bishop Joseph P. Delaney might ask them. I was anxious about all the details: that all the sponsors and candidates were present, the procession was orderly, the candidates doing readings were prepared, and on and on. I was an emotional wreck, hoping that everything would come off without a hitch. I was really feeling the need for some encouragement and assistance.

I received just what I needed from Bishop Delaney’s homily. He was teaching the candidates (and everyone else for that matter) about the Holy Spirit, specifically about the title of Paraclete (or Advocate). Bishop Delaney said that the word “paraclete” comes from a Greek legal term for someone who could assist a witness.

He explained that in court the paraclete would accompany a witness to the witness stand and help him give his testimony, basically whispering in his ear what to say. In essence, he said, this person was allowed to coach the witness. Thus, the Holy Spirit is our coach as we witness for Jesus.

I was floored on many levels. First, Wow! What an amazing description of the Holy Spirit. Second, what a great way to help teens grasp the significance of the Spirit in their lives and the purpose of the Sacrament of Confirmation. Third, I was comforted because I felt that I needed a coach to get me through my first Confirmation ceremony.

Years later, I am still amazed by this characterization of the Holy Spirit, and I have used Bishop Delaney’s analogy countless times. Jesus knew that being his disciple and the charge to continue his mission here on earth would not be easy, so He sent us a coach to whisper in our ear, encourage us to push ourselves, and give us the tools we need to build the kingdom of God.

QUESTIONS:

How would you describe the Holy Spirit to someone? How have you experienced the Holy Spirit being your coach?

May 25, Sixth Sunday of Easter.
Cycle A. Readings:

1) Acts 8:5-8, 14-17
    Psalm 66:1-7, 16, 20
2) 1 Peter 3:15-18
Gospel) John 14:15-21

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