The Holy Spirit The Greatest Communicator Of All Times
Readings: (1st: Acts 7, 55-60; Ps: 96, 1-2. 6-. 9; 2nd: Rev 22, 12-14. 16-17; Gos: Jn 17, 20-26)
This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers, Province of Nigeria South East. He is currently the parochial vicar of Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church Woliwo Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria. For more details contact him on:firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or +23408063767512
Today, the 7th Sunday in the season of Easter, the Universal Church celebrates the World Communications Day. In today’s first reading we are told that Stephen was filled with the Holy Spirit and saw the son of man standing at God’s right hand. This testimony of Stephen in the power of the Holy Spirit is a way God confirms our witness and at the same time communicates to the world things that ordinarily we would not have known anything about. The second reading tells us that John heard a voice speaking to him: “Very soon I shall be with you again,” and latter on the Spirit and the Bride says: “let everyone that listens answer, come!” In order words it is the Holy Spirit that invites us and also aids our communication.
In his letter to the Ephesians (1, 17-23), Paul prays asking God to send us: “… a Spirit of wisdom and perception of what is revealed, to bring you the full knowledge of him”. This is ad rem to what the Church celebrates today – World Communications Day. “During a time in which technology has emerged as part of the fabric of connectivity of human experiences, such as relationships and knowledge, we need to ask: can it help men and women meet Christ in faith? (Pccs.world-communications-day, 2013). I say yes, but only if the Holy Spirit is in control. This is because the Holy Spirit is the greatest communicator of all times, the one who gives the knowledge, wisdom and understanding necessary for any type of communication, and the one who directs all communications. In fact, he is the “Minister of Communication in the Government” of the Most Holy Trinity. That is why Jesus says: “He will teach you all things…” Jesus also knew that without the Holy Spirit his disciples cannot communicate the good news effectively. Hence, before his Ascension, he advised them to: “…stay in the city then, until you are clothed with the power from on high” (Luke 24, 46-53).
We must therefore pay attention to what Jesus tells us in today’s gospel. In it Christ prays for the unity of his flock: “Father, that they may be one!” This is the basis of Christian Ecumenism in our world today. It can however succeed only when we learn to communicate well, when we live out what Christ taught us and when we witness to Christ effectively. Good communication fosters unity, peace and progress. We are very much aware of the story of the tower of Babel (Gen 11, 9) and the confusion that prevented the builders from accomplishing their great task. This confusion of tongues came simply as a result of the fact that they could no longer communicate properly with one another because God disrupted their language.
Jesus communicated the Father well and that is why he is confident to say: “I have made known your name to them and I will continue to make it known to them”. Yes he will continue to do so through the help of the Holy Spirit in whose care he commends us. We are equally called to join in making the Father and Christ known through the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that softens hardened hearts, opens deaf ears and greases tight lips in order to loosen them for effective communication and reception of the good news. This is why Paul prays: “May he enlighten the eyes of your mind…” As Christians what roles do we play in making sure that we communicate right morals, excellent spirituality, culture of peace, and other good Christian values? If we communicate positively the world becomes a wonderful place, but if on the contrary we issue wrong signals, our world will be doomed. So as we celebrate the World Communications Day today, we must ask God to help us and through the power of the Holy Spirit teach us the right things and ways to witness to him.
Peace be with you!