It’s Day 100!!
Yesterday we talked about SYMBOLS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Today we are going to talk about GOD’S SPIRIT AND WORD IN THE TIME OF THE PROMISES
We are going back to Creation
We are going back to the Old Testament
We are going back to how God revealed Himself in THEOPHANIES
WE ARE GOING BACK…..TO THE FUTURE!!! 🤣
Ahem…so THEOPHANIES are the manifestations of how God reveals Himself to us
Here’s how He reveals the Holy Spirit
We have all of these HINTS of the reality, the power, the working of the Holy Spirit from the very beginning all the way until now
Paragraph 702 says, “From the beginning until ‘the fullness of time,’ the joint mission of the Father’s Word and Spirit remains hidden, but it is at work. God’s Spirit prepares for the time of the Messiah.”
The next few sentences are Fr. Mike reiterating this point so I’m not going to type it all out again 😀
One of the things that might help you today is if you can remember the ways in which the Lord God SPOKE TO THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL
THROUGH THE PROPHETS
This is going to be REALLY IMPORTANT
All those works that led the people of God from Abraham all the way to Christ and beyond
We are going to end today recognizing that the Kingdom that Jesus Christ established is ALREADY and NOT YET
We talked about that a couple of days ago
Paragraph 709 says, “The Kingdom…would be the work of the Holy Spirit; it would belong to the poor according to the Spirit.”
Paragraph 710 gives us some of the HISTORY
God gives the Law
The Law doesn’t have the power to CHANGE HEARTS
We need the Holy Spirit as well
There is so much INFIDELITY TO THE COVENANT AND THE LAW
Paragraph 710 says, “The People of God had to suffer this purification [in exile]. In God’s plan, the Exile already stands in the shadow of the Cross…”
Remember the Babylonian Exile?
The temptation all the way up until the Exile was IDOLATRY
The temptation was to turn away from the Lord God and be LIKE EVERY OTHER NATION
Then the People of Israel found themselves exiled to Babylon
They were given instructions which said, “Don’t rebel against Babylon. Don’t be rebels in this foreign land. But also, don’t capitulate or assimilate into the life of Babylon. But live as strangers in a strange land.”
When they were living in exile they saw that they were living among a foreign people who don’t believe what they believed
So they didn’t have to fight against them
DON’T BE LIKE THEM!!
When they came back from exile, there was much less idolatry
Paragraph 710 says, “In God’s plan, the Exile already stands in the shadow of the Cross, and the Remnant of the poor that returns from the Exile is one of the most transparent prefigurations of the Church.” 🤯 🤯 🤯
THAT IS US RIGHT NOW!!
We are not called to rebel and take up arms against the culture
NOT AT ALL!!
We are also not called to assimilate into the culture
We are also not called to be like everyone else
WE ARE CALLED TO BE UNIQUE!!
As Scripture says, “To be strangers in a strange land.”
To be IN the world but not OF the world
So that’s what we are talking about today
How God revealed His Holy Spirit, the Mission of the Word, from the very very beginning
IN A HIDDEN WAY!!
Even though the ENTIRE TIME the Word and the Spirit has been ACTIVE
So let’s ask the Word of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit to be with us!!
So there we have it!!
Did you notice that these paragraphs are chock full of INCREDIBLE NUGGETS
BUT NOT MCNUGGETS!! 😉
Paragraph 702 says, “From the very beginning until ‘the fullness of time,’ the joint mission of the Father’s Word and Spirit remains hidden, but it is at work.”
God’s Spirit is preparing
God’s Spirit is WORKING THE ENTIRE TIME
We will say that EVERYTHING that is written in the Old Testament and the New Testament is PROPHETIC
Paragraph 702 continues, “For this reason, when the Church reads the Old Testament, she searches there for what the Spirit, ‘who has spoken through the prophets,’ wants to tell us about Christ.”
Paragraph 702 continues, “By ‘prophets’ the faith of the Church here understands all whom the Holy Spirit inspired in living proclamation and in the composition of the sacred books, both of the Old and the New Testaments.”
So we consider Matthew PROPHETIC because he is writing the Gospel of Matthew
We would consider Baruch to be a PROPHET because he is writing the Book of Baruch
We consider Isaiah one of the GREAT PROPHETS because he wrote prophetic literature
This is a DISTINCTION between how the Church sometimes uses the term PROPHET
Then we have the Jewish Tradition
Paragraph 702 continues, “Jewish tradition distinguishes first the Law (the five first books or Pentateuch), then the Prophets (our historical and prophetic books) and finally the Writings (especially the wisdom literature, in particular the Psalms).”
As Catholics we say that ALL OF IT…
We acknowledge it of course
We still talk about THE LAW, THE PROPHETS, and the WISDOM LITERATURE
We as Catholics say that ALL OF IT IS PROPHETIC
Because the people who wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit ARE PROPHETS
Does that make sense?
Hopefully that makes sense!!
We recognize that God as a Trinity is COMPLETELY PRESENT AND ACTIVE in the beginning of Creation
St Irenaeus in Paragraph 704 says, “God fashioned man with his own hands [that is, the Son and the Holy Spirit] and impressed his own form on the flesh he had fashioned, in such a way that even what was visible might bear the divine form.”
Fr. Mike used this analogy before
Maybe not in the Catechism
The Holy Spirit is the Consoler
He is the Advocate
He is the Advocatus
He is the Paraclete
He is the OTHER PARACLETE
He is the OTHER ADVOCATE
He is the OTHER CONSOLER
Jesus is the FIRST PARACLETE
Jesus is the FIRST CONSOLER
Someone used the image that these are the TWO ARMS OF THE FATHER
Here is the Arm that is the SON
Here is the Arm that is the HOLY SPIRIT
THEY EMBRACE US!!
The ONE consoler, the Son
ANOTHER consoler is the Holy Spirit
And THAT is the Father’s arms EMBRACING US
That image is lacking a little bit because we could think that the Son and Holy Spirit are merely appendages of the Father
That is not good Trinitarian theology
If St Irenaeus is going to use this image then we are ok with that
The image of the two consolers, Son and Holy Spirit, being the “arms of the Father embracing you” then we are in good company
St Irenaeus continues his quote here but I already wrote it down WAY UP THERE so go read it there if you like 😀
So we are made in God’s image and likeness
Now here is a BIG STATEMENT that we may overlook
Paragraph 705 talks about the IMAGE AND LIKENESS OF GOD
ALL HUMAN BEINGS ARE MADE IN THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS OF GOD
That’s what the Book of Genesis says
There is a DISTINCTION that has been made, though
Paragraph 705 says, “Disfigured by sin and death, man remains ‘in the image of God,’ in the image of the Son, but is deprived ‘of the glory of God,’ or his ‘likeness.’”
THIS IS VERY VERY IMPORTANT!!
St Irenaeus talked about this in the 2nd Century, “After the Fall, man lost his LIKENESS to God yet retained the IMAGE of God.”
So LIKENESS would be the GLORY OF GOD
LIKENESS would be that robe of sanctity which implies the HOLINESS AND RIGHTEOUSNESS that the Holy Spirit had bestowed upon Adam
BUT WE LOST THAT!!
IT IS REALLY REMARKABLE!!
Paragraph 705 continues, “The promise made to Abraham inaugurates the economy of salvation…”
It BEGINS that process of Salvation
Although, from the very beginning God promised to save us
Paragraph 705 continues, “...at the culmination of which the Son himself will assume that ‘image’...”
Jesus takes on our human nature
Paragraph 705 continues, “...and restore it in the Father’s ‘likeness’ by giving it again its Glory, the Spirit who is ‘the giver of life.’”
(Sorry to split it up all like that but just following Fr. Mike’s “stream-of-consciousness” way of speaking 😃)
We once were Baptized where we are once again clothed in the Glory of God
We are clothed in His image and likeness
So we don’t LOSE the image of God
If we want to be technical with the term LIKENESS that would be that ROBE OF SANCTITY or RIGHTEOUSNESS
Remember we talked about how Adam and Eve had ORIGINAL UNITY, ORIGINAL JUSTICE, and ORIGINAL HOLINESS
THAT WAS LOST!!
Does that make sense? (NOPE!! But It’s your world, Fr. Mike! I’m just a squirrel trying to get a nut!! Pun intended 😉)
We don’t want to get lost in this rabbit trail (Someone like me would call it a SQUIRREL TRAIL 🤣)
But we really want to be particular in our theological distinctions
We can do more research on what it means to be made in God’s image and likeness and what it means to have LOST that LIKENESS in the Fall and God restores it in the Holy Spirit (So that is all of your homework for this episode!! DON’T TRUST WIKIPEDIA!! Go to www.catholic.com !!)
So let’s move on, shall we?
Paragraph 706 says, “Against all human hope, God promises descendants of Abraham, as the fruit of faith and of the power of the Holy Spirit.”
This is the working of the Holy Spirit that works in the midst of a place of despair, in a place where there is no hope, and gives hope
Paragraphs 707 and 708 are about the THEOPHANIES
In the Old Covenant God revealed Himself in many ways VISIBLY TO PEOPLE
It is always done through the work of the Word and the work of the Holy Spirit
Paragraph 707 says, “Christian tradition has always recognized that God’s Word allowed himself to be seen and heard in these theophanies, in which the cloud of the Holy Spirit both revealed him and concealed him in its shadow.”
Paragraph 708 says, “This divine pedagogy appears especially in the gift of the Law.”
The LAW is that TEACHER that is meant to lead the People of Israel toward Christ
The Law is POWERFUL in its ability to TEACH
The Law is POWERLESS in its ability to SAVE
Because we are deprived of that LIKENESS
We are deprived of that ROBE OF SANCTITY
We are deprived of the power that we NEED TO DO THE RIGHT THING
The Holy Spirit and the Law work to enkindle a DESIRE FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT and FOR THAT POWER TO FOLLOW THE LORD
HOPEFULLY THAT MAKES SENSE!!
Hopefully it’s not too much of a word salad…
Sometimes it gets SO GOOD
Maybe the Church that exists right now is best FORESHADOWED by the People of God who came back from Exile
Maybe the People of God IN EXILE IN BABYLON
Those People of God who came back from Exile to try to live in Jerusalem
Paragraph 710 says, “The forgetting of the Law and the infidelity to the covenant end in death…”
That’s what happened
The People of Israel were UNFAITHFUL and it ended in DEATH
Paragraph 710 continues, “It is the Exile, apparently the failure of the promises, which is in fact the mysterious fidelity of the Savior God and the beginning of a promised restoration, but according to the Spirit. The People of God had to suffer this purification.”
If THAT isn’t an image for OUR LIVES…
How many times do we find ourselves in a place of the APPARENT failure of the promises?
It actually IS the FIDELITY OF GOD
It actually IS the BEGINNING OF A PROMISED RESTORATION
A RESTORATION IN A WAY THAT WE COULD NOT HAVE IMAGINED AND DID NOT EXPECT!!
Maybe a restoration we WOULD NOT HAVE ASKED FOR
THIS IS GOD’S PLAN!!
Paragraph 710 continues, “In God’s plan, the Exile already stands in the shadow of the Cross, and the Remnant of the poor that returns from the Exile is one of the most transparent prefigurations of the Church.”
THAT IS US RIGHT NOW!!
The Church living in a way IN EXILE
The Church living in a way OF RETURN
We have to realize, like they did in Exile
We are NOT called to rebel against the government
We are NOT called to rebel against the culture
We are NOT called to be assimilated into the culture
We are called to STAND DIFFERENTLY
We are called to LIVE DIFFERENTLY
We are called to be UNIQUE IN THE MIDST OF A FOREIGN LAND
We are called to be STRANGERS AND SOJOURNERS
THAT TAKES STRENGTH!!
THAT TAKES THE HOLY SPIRIT!!
Fr. Mike is praying that the Holy Spirit is IN YOU
Let’s pray for each other that we can live in this way
THAT WE ARE UNIQUE!!
THAT WE ARE NOT JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER PERSON!!
THAT WE LIVE AS CHRISTIANS FILLED WITH GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT AND LED BY GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT!!
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!