May 24, 2022
by Steve Scholer
Creighton University's University Relations
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

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Finding Our Way Back Home: Getting Un-Stuck in Prayer Life

Imagine with me, if you will, Jesus addressing Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, and the rest of the Apostles, as he is about to address the proverbial elephant in the room and answer the question that the disciples do not want to ask.

Here they are, seated under the shade of several olive trees, and Jesus is standing before them, ready to deliver a message that would probably cause them to feel shame that they were not more concerned about his wellbeing; sadness because he would soon  be leaving them; anxiety about how they would be judged; and also hope, knowing that Jesus would send his Advocate to be with those who commit their lives to the Father.

John’s words may remind many of us of a song and will certainly date those who do remember the words from Joni Mitchell’s 1970s ballad, The Big Yellow Taxi: Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got till it's gone. They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.

Today, the more modern twist on that common phrase and probably the one the Apostles all deeply felt as Jesus addressed them is: The truth is you knew what you had--you just thought you would never lose it.

Jesus, with his Ascension but days away, no doubt sensed how fragile his Apostles were and that without his daily presence, they might disperse. So, like the wise teacher, he reassured them that his leaving is to make way for the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, who will provide them with strength and courage and in whom they will find inspiration and guidance.

Fortunately, the same Advocate that Jesus shared with the Apostles, he also shares with us. Are we using this most precious and sacred gift, the Holy Spirit, each and every day to its maximum benefit, or are we simply following the song lyrics and will soon realize that what we thought we had is now gone?

As we take the time to do our Daily Examen of Conscience, we need to ask how the Holy Spirit is enlightening us and guiding us in our lives, and to look for signs that the Holy Spirit is dwelling in us. Remember, the seven wonderful gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. How can we nurture and develop each one of these gifts in our prayer life and in our daily interactions with others?

Dear Lord, thank you for sending me the Holy Spirit. Please help me to understand more fully that your Advocate is there to guide me and remind me that I need to continually seek the Holy Spirit’s counsel and advice. Help me to grow closer to you and to live a life filled with love for all and filled with service to you. Amen.

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