Several years ago I was in a Catholic Church in Lebanon attending Mass. It was beautiful and I could follow it pretty well, but I couldn’t understand anything being said. During the homily the priest could have said “your pants are on fire” and I would have looked at him with a blank face. (unless they really were on fire, then I think I would have noticed.)
In these situations, where you don’t know the language, you really need an interpreter… someone who can translate what’s being said into a language you can understand.
The Holy Spirit translates and teaches God’s words …. so we can understand. Jesus says in John 16:13 that “the Spirit of truth will guide them into all the truth”. St. Paul reminds us of this truth:
“God reveals to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For what person knows a man’s thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.”1 Corinthians 2: 10-12
It’s clear in the Old and New Testament that the Holy Spirit communicates the riches of God’s heart to his people. He translates the depths and riches of God’s love to us.
So where does that leave us? Well, it’s clear that we need the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit helps us to think correctly and then empowers us to act correctly. The Holy Spirit has many titles… comforter, helper, advocate, intercessor… translator.
“Come Holy Spirit”…. these words need to always be on our lips.
When we find ourselves in trouble, ask the Holy Spirit to help.
When we don’t understand what’s going on, let us ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten us. When we’re confused or upset or angry or frustrated or depressed… let’s ask the Holy Spirit to help. Holy Spirit, help me… show me what to do.
And the good news is that the Holy Spirit will help us.
Try it and see what happens. You will be pleasantly surprised.
“Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.”
This reflection is from Dave Touhill Sr.’s blogposts.
Top image of a man reading the Bible is from Lightstock.com, stock photo ID: 105096. Used with permission. Quote from 1 Corinthians verse 12 added.