May 16, 2023
by Angela Maynard
Creighton University - retired
click here for photo and information about the writer

 Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 292 

Acts 16:22-34
Psalm 138:1-2ab, 2cde-3, 7c-8
John 16:5-11

Celebrating Easter Home

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

An Easter Blessing

Easter Joy in Everyday Life

John 16:5-22

Today’s gospel takes me back to the parish church where I grew up.  On the side of the church where my family usually located for Mass (we still sit in the same area when we go back!), a stained-glass window often caught my eye.

The window was very colorful and had a figure of a tree on which a list was posted.  The list contained the following words:

  • Wisdom
  • Understanding
  • Counsel
  • Fortitude
  • Knowledge
  • Piety
  • Fear of the Lord

As a little girl, I spent time sounding out the words.  I’m sure I asked my parents about this list.  For a long time, I had no idea what most of the words meant…until I was preparing to be confirmed in the Catholic Church. 

Today the disciples learn that once again, Jesus will be leaving.  This leaves the apostles with sorrowful hearts.  Jesus explains that he must leave so that he can send the Advocate.  The Advocate is the Holy Spirit who will share the seven gifts with humanity.  Catholics receive the Holy Spirit in the sacrament of Confirmation. 

Let’s go back to the preparation for Confirmation.  Much time is spent memorizing and learning all about the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  I won’t go into definitions of each of the gifts today.  I will tell you that I’ve leaned on those gifts a lot over the years. I’ve encouraged my children to do so as well—most recently, reminding my son to pray to the Holy Spirit as he prepared for final exams.

While the disciples were filled with sadness, once again, they are called to trust that Jesus must go so that he can send the Advocate.  This will allow the disciples to experience the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit—just as Jesus was guided.

“The gifts provided by God as supernatural helps one in the process of perfection.” St. Thomas Aquinas

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