Children, in this Sunday's Gospel story, Jesus is sitting down with His disciples at His Last Supper, His last meal with them. So imagine at dinner or at supper tonight, Jesus too will be having His meal with you and the family. How? Well, Jesus have taught us that whenever 2 or more people gather in His name, to be sure that He will be amongst you. So what would be a topic to talk about with Jesus at dinner?
Jesus is the One that always reaches out to us first. He is always the first person that moves, speaks, or does things. He is the First Mover as St Thomas Aquinas speaks well of Jesus. So todays story Jesus tells us once again that He will be going away for a while, but we must not be troubled or sad, as He will come back. When does Jesus return to us? We are not sure, no one, not even Pope Francis knows. But Jesus promises us that once He goes back to the Father, Him and His Father will send us a GIFT - the Holy Spirit, who will guide us, comfort us, keep us together and safe, bind us together. All we are required to do is to put our Trust in Jesus, and to obey the Ten Commandments.
But … why do we need the Holy Spirit?
Well, the Holy Spirit is God's gift. The Holy Spirit when it comes, will set our hearts on fire to do good things, and to avoid doing bad things. Doing good things like being kind, sharing our stuffs, listening to the teachers and our parents, helping others, is what Jesus asks us to do. Doing good things leads us to a special kind of joy and peace within us.
The Seven Gifts and the Nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
Jesus tells us that the reason why He will send us the Holy Spirit is this: There are Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit - wisdom, understanding, knowledge, fortitude, counsel, piety and reverence which will help us to do good things, and to avoid bad things. You will know when the Holy Spirit is near you, or within you - Jesus tells us that we will know when we experience the Nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit within us. Those nine fruits are: joy, peace, kindness, generosity, patience, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
So the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit, are given free to us by God. But we must be willing to seek to receive those free gifts that we must strive, or do our best to achieve those Seven gifts in order to do good things. For example, we must strive to learn better at school, at home, at our sports activities, and we must strive to learn about the good news stories that Jesus teaches us everyday. This is how we seek for wisdom, knowledge, understanding, being fortuitous, be seeking good counsel and advise, and to be reverent. So it is a good thing to read the bible everyday, and to spend some time talking to Jesus about anything. Tell Jesus about your day at school, about your lunch time activities with your friends, and tell Jesus also about the things that you were not happy about, and ask Jesus to give you that gift of the Holy to do things better. The Nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit is the 'prize' or the 'reward' that we will receive when we achieve the seven gifts AND do those good things AND avoid doing those bad things. For example, once we have learned well, studied hard and earned high grades at school, or practiced well on our musical instruments and got chosen to be in the symphonic band, or prayed everyday, read our bible and became closer to Jesus than before, oh! what joy, gladness, and a pleasant feeling that would bring us and our families. This joy is the fruit of the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. But we have to master in seeking and striving for the Gift of the Holy Spirit everyday!
You see there is no prize when we do bad things. Doing bad things only makes us angry, be unkind and miserable, be mean to others, dislike and steal others things, speak badly of others, and not looking after ourselves properly. Doing bad things also can lead us to be ill, and may cause us death. So it is not a pleasant experience to disobey the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is ultimately the Love of God.
But above all the Holy Spirit is the Love of God and we allow ourselves to focus on this.
So where there is Love there is the Holy Spirit, and …. when we gather in two or more, Jesus is there with us! Amazing isn't it!
And we say Alleluia! We say Thank you Jesus, for allowing us to know about the Gifts and the Fruits of the Holy Spirit, which is God's gift of Love for us.
Sixth Week of Easter
Exploring the Good News about Jesus
Sixth Sunday of Easter