The Big Picture Bible Course
Discussion Session 10 Holy Spirit and introduction to session 11 The Church
YouTube hymn – Holy Spirit, we welcome you
No 873 in our hymn book
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful and kindle within them the fire of Your love.
Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created.
And You shall renew the face of the earth.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations. Through Christ our Lord. Amen
Oh Holy Spirit, You are the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. You are the Spirit of truth, love and holiness, proceeding from the Father and the Son, and equal to Them in all things. We adore You and love You with all our heart. Teach us to know and to seek God, by whom and for whom we were created. Fill our hearts with a holy fear and a great love for Him. Give us compunction (an active conscience) and patience, and do not let us fall into sin.
Increase faith, hope and charity in us.
Make us faithful followers of Jesus, obedient children of the Church and a help to our neighbour. Give us the grace to keep the commandments and to receive the sacraments worthily. Raise us to holiness and lead us to everlasting life. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
687 …Those who believe in Christ know the Spirit because He dwells with them.
John 14: 17
689 It is Christ who is seen, the visible image of the invisible God, but it is the Spirit who reveals Him.
The Holy Spirit shows us Jesus.
We come to the Father, through the Son, in the Spirit.
Let’s have a look at that first Pentecost.
Acts 2: 1-12 and 37-41
At what point is the Church born?
- In the upper room
- When they go out into the street
- When they preach the word
- When people respond to the word
- Are these all links in a chain
What enables this to happen?
What transforms fearful disciples into bold witnesses for Christ?
The Fruit of the Spirit
Galatians 5: 22 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
How do we feel about the fruit of the Spirit?
The Gifts of the Spirit
Isaiah 11: 2 – The Spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
- wisdom – knowledge
- understanding – piety
- counsel – fear of the Lord
How do we feel about these gifts of the Spirit?
Now let’s look at the gifts of the Spirit mentioned by St. Paul in
1 Corinthians 12: 4-11
- a word of wisdom
- a word of knowledge
- working of miracles
- discernment of Spirits
- interpretation of tongues
How do we feel about these gifts of the Spirit?
The list in Isaiah is a bit tame compared with Paul’s list.
I suppose we have to remember that the gifts or charisms are for a purpose.
ccc 799 – Whether extraordinary or simple and humble, charisms are graces of the Holy Spirit which directly or indirectly benefit the Church, ordered as they are to her building up to the good of men and to the needs of the world.
A note about tongues
Tongues can cause people some problems.
It is important to realise that there are two kinds of tongues:
- A message given in tongues (unintelligible language) which is interpreted by another member of the congregation. It is a particular gift given to some.
- Tongues which are a personal prayer language and give praise to God. It is a universal gift, potentially given to all.
St Paul in his First Letter to the Corinthians refers to tongues as a gift to be exercised with caution as worship in the Corinthian church was becoming chaotic. 1 Corinthians 14: 4-5, 18-19 & 39-40
Paul says “strive for the higher gifts”, 1 Cor 12 vs 31, remembering that they are to build up the church, 1 Cor 12: 27-31.
The twelfth chapter ends with “I will show you a still more excellent way”, and then we are into chapter 13 and that great passage about love (a fruit of the Spirit).
That is to say that the more excellent way is love.
In summary so far the Holy Spirit
- Convicts us of sin leading to repentance and reconciliation
- Shows us Jesus
- Gives us consolation
- Dwells within us
- Bears fruit
- Gives us gifts to build up the Church
1 Cor 6: 19 – Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God.
We receive the Holy Spirit at baptism. John 3: 3-5
And we continually look to the indwelling and outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Jesus, having risen, ascends to heaven in order to send the Holy Spirit.
John 16: 7, 15: 26 & 14: 25-26
As it says in the Creed
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who has spoken through the prophets.
Jesus in human form was only able to be present in one place at a time; through the Holy Spirit Jesus is able to be present always and everywhere.
In the mass Father Eddy asks God the Father to send his Spirit to change the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, making Jesus present wherever mass is said.
As St Peter said in Acts 2: 16-18
“This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; yes, and on my menservants and maidservants in those days I will pour out my Spirit and they shall prophecy.”