Sunday, 16 May 2021

Novena for Pentecost: A new awareness of the Trinity

St John Paul II, along with many others, spoke of the need of the Christian to achieve a living encounter with Jesus Christ, and through that encounter, with the Father. Chapter 1 of the Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in America  for example, is entitled "The Encounter with the Living Jesus Christ".

The Church is the place where men and women, by encountering Jesus, can come to know the love of the Father, for whoever has seen Jesus has seen the Father (cf. Jn 14:9). After his Ascension into heaven, Jesus acts through the powerful agency of the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete (cf. Jn 16:17), who transforms believers by giving them new life. Thus they become capable of loving with God's own love, which “has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us” (Rom 5:5).

An experience of this living encounter with Jesus, bringing about a profound awareness of the love of the Father poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, is a most immediate effect of Baptism in the Spirit. There is a new consciousness of the presence and power of the Spirit, that brings about an existential knowledge that "Jesus is Lord": "Jesus is Lord and Saviour" is an experience of the heart before it is an acclamation. 

One who has been baptised in the Spirit lives the words of St John:

What we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, we have looked upon and touched with our hands...

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