Jesus promises that he will give the Holy Spirit to be with his followers as an Advocate and guide. This Spirit is with us always and dwells within us. The Holy Spirit is the very presence of God in the baptized. We are not left alone. Christ has not abandoned us after his resurrection and ascension. Rather, the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit remains with us to guide us in fulfilling the commands of Jesus. The Holy Spirit helps us love beyond measure and enables us to share our faith in Christ with others.
I know I am very appreciative of the gift of the Holy Spirit. As I celebrate twenty-four years of priesthood and fifty-one years of life it has been the Holy Spirit that has graced me with all that I have. My parents brought me into this world and set a wonderful example of faith and love for me. My teachers filled me with the enthusiasm to learn all that I can. My parish assignments have helped me to see the power of the Holy Spirit at work in the people of God. When I reflect on my life and my vocation it truly has been the Holy Spirit at work that has shaped and formed me. Thank the Holy Spirit for dwelling in you.
This weekend we also remember and thank those who gave their lives in service of our nation so that we may have the freedoms we have. The ultimate sacrifice of life is also a great gift for us to be mindful of and to be thankful for. Do you see why Jesus did what he did for us?