Our readings certainly cover a wide range of topics:
our Lord’s leave-taking during the Last Supper;
the controversy in the early church whether people had first to become Jews to be Christians;
the New Jerusalem at the consummation of time and history.
The Gospel mentions the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, anticipating the great Solemnity of Pentecost we will celebrate in a few weeks. Is it far-fetched to refer all three readings to the Spirit of God?
Our Reading from the Acts of the Apostles represents a realm we know too well, of no little dissension and debate. However much we try to channel positively such arguments, their damage seeps through the cracks of even the best intentions. But can divisions block God’s Spirit? Even divisiveness can be employed to re-assess our habits, inviting the Spirit to refresh the way we live. And so the apostles and presbyters could conclude, “It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and us…” that wondrous, intimate collaboration which is actually possible to those who honestly live the faith.
Our Reading from the Book of Revelation makes no explicit mention of the Holy Spirit, but describing the transfigured Jerusalem, without any temple, as God’s indwelling with humanity, it is an apt description of the Spirit’s relationship with us. Unseen, the Spirit aligns all with God, that divine vitality shaping me, calling me into being, igniting the light of holiness. The Spirit reveals all creation capable of hosting Divinity.
Finally John’s Gospel evokes the unifying, connecting, advocating power of God’s Spirit, both affirming us in our creatureliness while taking us beyond ourselves into the Divine Life.
How I live, how I am oriented, how I connect—don’t these underscore what we most essentially are? Aren’t they the work of the Holy Spirit on our pilgrimage to the eternal and welcoming God?