As I Have Loved You Week 3 - Holy Spirit as Advocate & Guide

(May 22, 2022)

Bottom line: These blessings and joys give us a sense that even though tears and drudgery fill our lives, still there is something beyond: a new heaven and a new earth where God will wipe away every tear.

I thank you for your prayers this past week. On Friday we had the funeral Mass and burial of my brother Greg. Saturday afternoon ____ of our young people received the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation. Having Bishop Elizondo here reminds us of our unity with the Archdiocese. Last weekend Carl Gismervig gave a beautiful presentation on this unity that we express in the Annual Catholic Appeal. I am grateful for all who made a donation or pledge, even a pledge of prayers.

Today we have the third homily in our series As I Have Loved You. Jesus shows his love by dwelling in us: "Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him." Jesus cannot be separated from the Father. As he says, "The Father and I are one." The love between Father and Son is a third distinct person - the Holy Spirit. He is called the Advocate. In English an Advocate is an attorney or lawyer - someone who stands along side to defend. The Holy Spirit defends us against the devil. In the Bible the devil is great accuser. The devil tries to tell us: You are a rotten person, there's no hope for you, you may as well just end it all.

The Holy Spirit is the exact opposite. He brings peace and strength. Like the song says: Sometimes I feel discouraged, and think my work's in vain. But then the Holy Spirit revives my soul again.

Yesterday our young people received the Holy Spirit in Sacrament of Confirmation. Jesus tells us: The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.

The Holy Spirit dwells within us, together with the Father and Son. He guides us to our destiny which the Bible describes New Jerusalem - a new heaven and a new earth.

Since the death of brother, I've been thinking a lot about this new heaven and new earth. Also at my class reunion, I learned that of the 35 of us ordained in Rome, twelve have died. Where are they? The Bible says that after we die, we appear before God. The Bible, however, does not say we will spend eternity in heaven. Rather, it speaks about the New Jerusalem - a new heaven and new earth. The New Jerusalem will be enormous - 1500 miles on each side. That's the equivalent of 31 Washington States. It will also be 1500 miles high so it could accommodate some spectacular condominiums. Plenty of room for everyone.

C.S. Lewis describes the new earth in his Narnia book, The Last Battle. After winning the fight against the forces of evil, Aslan leads the children to a new land - higher up and deeper in. At a certain point the children see a landscape that seems familiar. Aslan tells them they are seeing the true England. Likewise in the new earth we will be able to visit the true Mexico. It will contain Mexico's full potential, including its songs, dances and food. And there will also be the true America that embodies what the Bible says about the New Jerusalem - people from every tribe, tongue and race. The America that we currently fight over and fight for will realize its fulfillment in the new heaven and new earth.

That's our destination - the new heaven and the new earth. To get there we need the Holy Spirit. Next weekend when we celebrate Ascension Sunday, Jesus tells us, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you.

Today we recognize that the Holy Spirit brings us to our true destiny: the new heaven and the new earth. He is our advocate, healer and guide.


From Archives (Fifth Sunday of Easter, Cycle C):

2019: The Only Cure for Fainting Faith
2016: Third Priority
2013: The Greatest Good
2010: Some Say Love
2007: They Appointed Elders
2004: Necessary to Undergo Many Hardships
2001: Love One Another
1998: Honoring Mothers and Defending Children

Other Homilies

Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C

Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)

Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish.

Other Priests' Homilies, Well Worth Listening:
Fr. Kurt Nagel
Fr. Frank Schuster
Fr. Brad Hagelin
Fr. Jim Northrop
Fr. Michael White
Fr Pat Freitag (and deacons of St. Monica)
Bishop Robert Barron

Bulletin (St. Mary of Valley Parish)

Parish Picture Album


MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru