John 14:19, 18, 16-17
“the world will not see me anymore…
I will not leave you as orphans;
I will come to you.
And I will ask the Father,
and He will give you another advocate
to help you and be with you forever….
Last Sunday, the universal Church remembered and celebrated our Lord Jesus Christ’s Ascension.
Having created us, He knows full well our psychology — how bereft His followers would feel by His leaving: “grief has filled your hearts” (John 16:6). And loving us deeply, Jesus promised “I will not leave you as orphans” and that the Father would send us “another advocate” to help and be with us forever and “always until the end of time” itself (Matthew 28:20).
What a comforting thought!
Today, we celebrate the miracle of the Pentecost — the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise when the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles.
When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled,
they were all in one place together.
And suddenly there came from the sky
a noise like a strong driving wind,
and it filled the entire house in which they were.
Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,
which parted and came to rest on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak in different tongues,
as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.
Given His importance, it is distressing how little we actually know about the Third Person of the Triune Godhead. This much we know, from Jesus’ own words — The Holy Spirit is the Paraclete (advocate, counselor, comforter) and the “Spirit of truth“.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.
But when he comes, the Spirit of truth,
he will guide you to all truth.
He will not speak on his own,
but he will speak what he hears,
and will declare to you the things that are coming.”
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth.
Let those words sink in . . . .
The plain truth is that we humans lie all the time, contrary to the Spirit of Truth. Not only is lying a contravention of the 9th Commandment, lying is part of every sin and a hallmark of evil — of enslavement and allegiance to “the father of lies,” the Devil (John 8:44).
In her book, A Message of Hope, former satanist Deborah Lipsky, now a specialist in education in Maine, says lying has become our second nature. Lies in sales pitches, advertising, politics, and in personal relationships. We rationalize lying, and consider some forms, like white lies, harmless. But there is no such thing as a “half-truth”; there are only “half-lies.” Lying is one of the devil’s most effective ways to separate us from God:
“Untruthfulness of any sort is the sort of ‘stuff’ demons feed on…. Lying is beyond question the most toxic activity we can engage in. Every time we ignore the truth, we ignore God. God is Truth. When we lie, we can’t be part of that because He is absolute truth. Lying is a demon’s native tongue. When you lie, you are not only speaking the language demons can connect with, but you also are in sync with a demon’s nature. […]
We convince ourselves that under certain conditions telling a lie isn’t a sin. If anything, the one you are deceiving is you! Demons aren’t finicky; they will feed on any deception including white lies. I am guilty of knowingly telling white lies because I don’t want the person to suffer undue emotional stress if they can’t handle the truth at hand. That doesn’t make it right. Telling a full lie or half-truth is the quickest way to nourish a demon….
The Holy Spirit and Holy Angels including your guardian angel will ‘step back’ a step … when you engage in telling a lie because they refuse to co-inhabit in your ‘space’ with any hint of evil.”
So for those of us who have been baptized and therefore are gifted with the Holy Spirit, the way to holiness — to honor and be true to the Spirit of Truth — is to do as our Lord instructs:
“Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’
and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’
Anything more is from the evil one.”
May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!