[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 (John 16:12-13a).
[The Holy Spirit says of Himself] . . . then was I beside Him as his craftsman, and I was His delight day by day, playing before Him all the while, playing on the surface of His earth; and I found delight in the human race (Proverbs 8:30-31).
[Brothers and sisters]: Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ . . . because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us (Romans 5:1-5).
This past Sunday’s Scripture readings have played in my mind since I heard them during the Mass. The more they played, the more I contemplated their interconnectedness. And the more I contemplated their connectedness, the more relaxed my spirit grew.
Jesus tells us through the reading in John that the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth. That was not new information to me. I’ve known the Holy Spirit’s guidance through Scripture for nearly forty years. But I wondered what He was trying to teach me – if anything – through these particular readings.
And then I realized what it was.
God delights in us. More to the point, the Holy Spirit reminded me through the Proverbs text that while God delights in us, He also takes delight in me.
He considers me of great value. Even while I was shaking my fist in His face during my younger years, God loved me nonetheless. He loved me so much that He gave His Son to die for me (Romans 5:8).
And for you, too.
And because He takes delight in us, St. Paul could write the words of our second reading: All who have placed their faith in Christ stand before God justified (from a Greek word meaning “to be declared without guilt”).
Think of it for a moment. Those who approach God in humble faith through the sacrifice of Christ are justified – declared by God to be without guilt.
God’s not mad at us. He’s not looking to get even with us. To whip us into conformity. To teach us who’s boss. To throw us into hell.
The Holy Spirit took the time this weekend to remind me through these texts that He really, really delights in me. He loves me. Without condition. Without permutation. He delights in me. He loves me – even as much as He loves Jesus (John 17:23).
And He feels the same way about you, too.
Oh, if only I – if only we – can mature in our faith to the point where that promise takes root – and blossoms – we will finally experience the confidence of heart that the Word of God offers us.
Oh, Holy Spirit. Please make it so.