He will baptise with The Holy Spirit

thought-for-sundayFrom the desk of Fr. Ignatius Waters, cp

Sunday, 13th January 2019



This year, more than ever before, I noticed how much reference there is to the Holy Spirit in the readings, so soon after Christmas. But I shouldn’t be surprised since Jesus was born and came among us so that he could baptise us with his spirit. It’s this baptising and anointing that makes us children of God. And these words from St. John’s letter on January 2nd. really got through to me as if I had never heard them before: “You have not lost the anointing he gave you and you do not need anyone to teach you. The anointing he gave you teaches you everything. (1 John 2:22)

In recent times, I have been delighting afresh in the wisdom of St. Therese and wondering how she could be so wise while still so young. She didn’t have degrees in Theology or anything. Yet she is a Doctor of the Church. Where did she get it all? Of course, the same was said about Jesus himself! “Where did he get all this wisdom? Isn’t he the carpenter’s son!”

And sure, the answer is obvious. Therese was educated by God’s Holy Spirit and so were you, and so was I. There is spiritual wisdom in us through the anointing of God’s Holy Spirit. And I see it so often in people who are struggling with all kinds of problems and troubles. They themselves don’t see how good and how wise they are, but they are! They are gifted by God’s spirit. They are led by God’s Spirit.

But it’s also good to remember we’re all led in different ways. St. John of the Cross said, “God carries each person along a different road, so that you will hardly find two people following the same route in their journey to God.” This helps explain that, while we are all children of God, and maybe members of the same family or community, we find it so hard to understand one another. It explains, too, why you may be disappointed in what you hear at mass on Sundays because it doesn’t speak to your situation, or your experience.

We need to pray this prayer: O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit dost instruct the hearts of thy faithful, grant by the gift of the same Spirit that we may be always truly wise and ever rejoice in his consolation (and education!), through Christ, our Lord, Amen.