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The Church professes her faith in the Holy Spirit as "the Lord, the giver of life. It also contains the statement that the Holy Spirit "has spoken through the Prophets.
These are words which the Church receives from the very source of her faith, Jesus Christ. In fact, according to the Gospel of John, the Holy Spirit is given to us with the new life, as Jesus foretells and promises on the great day of the Feast of Tabernacles: "If any one thirst let him come to me and drink.
He who believeth in me as the scripture has said, 'Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water. The Church, therefore, instructed by the words of Christ, and drawing on the experience of Pentecost and her own apostolic history, has proclaimed since the earliest centuries her faith in the Holy Spirit, as the giver of life, the one in whom the inscrutable Triune God communicates himself to human beings, constituting in them the source of eternal life.
This faith, uninterruptedly professed by the Church, needs to be constantly reawakened and deepened in the consciousness of the People of God. In the course of the last hundred years this has been done several times: by Leo XIII, who published the Encyclical Epistle Divinum Illud Munus entirely devoted to the Holy Spirit; by Pius XII, who in the Encyclical Letter Mystici Corporis spoke of the Holy Spirit as the vital principle of the Church, in which he works in union with the Head of the Mystical Body, Christ 5 ; at the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council which brought out the need for a new study of the doctrine on the Holy Spirit, as Paul VI emphasized: "The Christology and particularly the ecclesiology of the Council must be succeeded by a new study of and devotion to the Holy Spirit, precisely as the indispensable complement to the teaching of the Council.
In our own age, then, we are called anew by the ever ancient and ever new faith of the Church, to draw near to the Holy Spirit as the giver of life.
In this we are helped and stimulated also by the heritage we share with the Oriental Churches, which have jealously guarded the extraordinary riches of the teachings of the Fathers on the Holy Spirit.
For this reason too we can say that one of the most important ecclesial events of recent years has been the Sixteenth Centenary of the First Council of Constantinople, celebrated simultaneously in Constantinople and Rome on the Solemnity of Pentecost in The Holy Spirit was then better seen, through a meditation on the mystery of the Church, as the one who points out the ways leading to the union of Christians, indeed as the supreme source of this unity, which comes from God himself and to which St.
Paul gave a particular expression in the words which are frequently used to begin the Eucharistic liturgy: "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. In a certain sense, my previous Encyclicals Redemptor Hominis and Dives in Misericordia took their origin and inspiration from this exhortation, celebrating as they do the event of our salvation accomplished in the Son, sent by the Father into the world "that the world might be saved through him" 8 and "every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
For the Conciliar texts, thanks to their teaching on the Church in herself and the Church in the world, move us to penetrate ever deeper into the Trinitarian mystery of God himself, through the Gospels, the Fathers and the liturgy: to the Father, through Christ, in the Holy Spirit.
In this way the Church is also responding to certain deep desires which she believes she can discern in people's hearts today: a fresh discovery of God in his transcendent reality as the infinite Spirit, just as Jesus presents him to the Samaritan woman; the need to adore him "in spirit and truth" 11 ; the hope of finding in him the secret of love and the power of a "new creation" 12 : yes, precisely the giver of life.
The Church feels herself called to this mission of proclaiming the Spirit, while together with the human family she approaches the end of the second Millennium after Christ. Against the background of a heaven and earth which will "pass away," she knows well that "the words which will not pass away" 13 acquire a particular eloquence. They are the words of Christ about the Holy Spirit, the inexhaustible source of the "water welling up to eternal life," 14 as truth and saving grace.
Upon these words she wishes to reflect, to these words she wishes to call the attention of believers and of all people, as she prepares to celebrate- as will be said later on-the great Jubilee which will mark the passage from the second to the third Christian Millennium.
Naturally, the considerations that follow do not aim to explore exhaustively the extremely rich doctrine on the Holy Spirit, nor to favor any particular solution of questions which are still open. Their main purpose is to develop in the Church the awareness that "she is compelled by the Holy Spirit to do her part towards the full realization of the will of God, who has established Christ as the source of salvation for the whole world.
When the time for Jesus to leave this world had almost come, he told the Apostles of "another Counselor. I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth. It is precisely this Spirit of truth whom Jesus calls the Paraclete-and parakletos means "counselor," and also "intercessor," or "advocate. The Holy Spirit comes after him and because of him, in order to continue in the world, through the Church, the work of the Good News of salvation.
Concerning this continuation of his own work by the Holy Spirit Jesus speaks more than once during the same farewell discourse, preparing the Apostles gathered in the Upper Room for his departure, namely for his Passion and Death on the Cross.
The words to which we will make reference here are found in the Gospel of John. Each one adds a new element to that prediction and promise. And at the same time they are intimately interwoven, not only from the viewpoint of the events themselves but also from the viewpoint of the mystery of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which perhaps in no passage of Sacred Scripture finds so emphatic an expression as here. A little while after the prediction just mentioned Jesus adds: "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
The words "he will teach" and "bring to remembrance" mean not only that he, in his own particular way, will continue to inspire the spreading of the Gospel of salvation but also that he will help people to understand the correct meaning of the content of Christ's message; they mean that he will ensure continuity and identity of understanding in the midst of changing conditions and circumstances. The Holy Spirit, then, will ensure that in the Church there will always continue the same truth which the Apostles heard from their Master.
In transmitting the Good News, the Apostles will be in a special way associated with the Holy Spirit. This is how Jesus goes on: "When the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me; and you also are witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning.
Apostles were the direct eyewitnesses. They "have heard" and "have seen with their own eyes," "have looked upon" and even "touched with their hands" Christ, as the evangelist John says in another passage. And subsequently it will also find therein the hidden foundation of its continuation among the generations of Christ's disciples and believers who succeed one another down through the ages.
The supreme and most complete revelation of God to humanity is Jesus Christ himself, and the witness of the Spirit inspires, guarantees and convalidates the faithful transmission of this revelation in the preaching and writing of the Apostles, 22 while the witness of the Apostles ensures its human expression in the Church and in the history of humanity.
This is also seen from the strict correlation of content and intention with the just-mentioned prediction and promise, a correlation found in the next words of the text of John: "I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. In his previous words Jesus presents the; Counselor, the Spirit of truth, as the one who "will teach" and "bring to remembrance," as the one who "will bear witness" to him.
Now he says: "He will guide you into all the truth. Later however it becomes clear that this "guiding into all the truth" is connected not only with the scandal of the Cross, but also with everything that Christ "did and taught. The guiding into all the truth" is therefore achieved in faith and through faith: and this is the work of the Spirit of truth and the result of his action in man.
Here the Holy Spirit is to be man's supreme guide and the light of the human spirit. This holds true for the Apostles, the eyewitnesses, who must now bring to all people the proclamation of what Christ did and taught, and especially the proclamation of his Cross and Resurrection. Taking a longer view, this also holds true for all the generations of disciples and confessors of the Master. Since they will have to accept with faith and confess with candor the mystery of God at work in human history, the revealed mystery which explains the definitive meaning of that history.
Between the Holy Spirit and Christ there thus subsists, in the economy of salvation, an intimate bond, whereby the Spirit works in human history as "another Counselor," permanently ensuring the transmission and spreading of the Good News revealed by Jesus of Nazareth.
Thus, in the Holy Spirit-Paraclete, who in the mystery and action of the Church unceasingly continues the historical presence on earth of the Redeemer and his saving work, the glory of Christ shines forth, as the following words of John attest: "He [the Spirit of truth] will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
How intimately this mission is linked with the mission of Christ, how fully it draws from this mission of Christ, consolidating and developing in history its salvific results, is expressed by the verb "take": "He will take what is mine and declare it to you.
In the light of these words "he will take," one can therefore also explain the other significant words about the Holy Spirit spoken by Jesus in the Upper Room before the Passover: "It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
And when he comes, he will convince the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment. It is a characteristic of the text of John that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are clearly called Persons, the first distinct from the second and the third, and each of them from one another. Jesus speaks of the Spirit-Counselor, using several times the personal pronoun "he"; and at the same time, throughout the farewell discourse, he reveals the bonds which unite the Father, the Son and the Paraclete to one another.
Thus "the Holy Spirit. Here it should be noted that, while all the other promises made in the Upper Room foretold the coming of the Holy Spirit after Christ's departure, the one contained in the text of John f.
Thus in the farewell discourse at the Last Supper, we can say that the highest point of the revelation of the Trinity is reached At the same time, we are on the threshold of definitive events and final words which in the end will be translated into the great missionary mandate addressed to the Apostles and through them to the Church: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations," a mandate which contains, in a certain sense, the Trinitarian formula of baptism: "baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
The farewell discourse can be read as a special preparation for this Trinitarian formula, in which is expressed the life-giving power of the Sacrament which brings about sharing in the life of the Triune God, for it gives sanctifying grace as a supernatural gift to man. Through grace, man is called and made "capable" of sharing in the inscrutable life of God. In his intimate life, God "is love," 36 the essential love shared by the three divine Persons: personal love is the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of the Father and the Son.
Therefore he "searches even the depths of God," 37 as uncreated Love-Gift. It can be said that in the Holy Spirit the intimate life of the Triune God becomes totally gift, an exchange of mutual love between the divine Persons and that through the Holy Spirit God exists in the mode of gift.
It is the Holy Spirit who is the personal expression of this self-giving, of this being-love. He is Person-Gift Here we have an inexhaustible treasure of the reality and an inexpressible deepening of the concept of person in God, which only divine Revelation makes known to us.
At the same time, the Holy Spirit, being consubstantial with the Father and the Son in divinity, is love and uncreated gift from which derives as from its source fons vivus all giving of gifts vis-a-vis creatures created gift : the gift of existence to all things through creation; the gift of grace to human beings through the whole economy of salvation.
Christ's farewell discourse at the Last Supper stands in particular reference to this "giving" and "self-giving" of the Holy Spirit.
In John's Gospel we have as it were the revelation of the most profound "logic" of the saving mystery contained in God's eternal plan, as an extension of the ineffable communion of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is the divine "logic" which from the mystery of the Trinity leads to the mystery of the Redemption of the world in Jesus Christ. The Redemption accomplished by the Son in the dimensions of the earthly history of humanity- accomplished in his "departure" through the Cross and Resurrection-is at the same time, in its entire salvific power, transmitted to the Holy Spirit: the one who "will take what is mine.
It is a new beginning in relation to the first, original beginning of God's salvific self-giving, which is identified with the mystery of creation itself. Here is what we read in the very first words of the Book of Genesis: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth This is true first of all concerning man, who has been created in the image and likeness of God: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
The Christian reader, who already knows the revelation of this mystery, can discern a reflection of it also in these words. At any rate, the context of the Book of Genesis enables us to see in the creation of man the first beginning of God's salvific self-giving commensurate with the "image and likeness" of himself which he has granted to man. It seems then that even the words spoken by Jesus in the farewell discourse should be read again in the light of that "beginning," so long ago yet fundamental, which we know from Genesis.
It is a new beginning, first of all because between the first beginning and the whole of human history-from the original fall onwards-sin has intervened, sin which is in contradiction to the presence of the Spirit of God in creation, and which is above all in contradiction to God's salvific self- communication to man.
Paul writes that, precisely because of sin, "creation The Holy Spirit comes at the price of Christ's "departure. Thus the sorrow with its underlying joy is, for the Apostles in the context of their Master's "departure," an "advantageous" departure, for thanks to it another "Counselor" will come.
In this way there is definitively brought about that new beginning of the self-communication of the Triune God in the Holy Spirit through the work of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of man and of the world. There is also accomplished in its entirety the mission of the Messiah, that is to say of the One who has received the fullness of the Holy Spirit for the Chosen People of God and for the whole of humanity.
Following this tradition, Simon Peter will say in the house of Cornelius: "You must have heard about the recent happenings in Judea From these words of Peter and from many similar ones, 51 one must first go back to the prophecy of Isaiah, sometimes called "the Fifth Gospel" or "the Gospel of the Old Testament.
These are the words of the Prophet: "There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. And his delight shall be the fear of the Lord.
This text is important for the whole pneumatology of the Old Testament, because it constitutes a kind of bridge between the ancient biblical concept of "spirit," understood primarily as a "charismatic breath of wind," and the "Spirit" as a person and as a gift, a gift for the person.
The Messiah of the lineage of David "from the stump of Jesse" is precisely that person upon whom the Spirit of the Lord "shall rest. However, with this veiled reference to the figure of the future Messiah there begins, so to speak, the path towards the full revelation of the Holy Spirit in the unity of the Trinitarian mystery, a mystery which will finally be manifested in the New Covenant.
It is precisely the Messiah himself who is this path. In the Old Covenant, anointing had become the external symbol of the gift of the Spirit.
The Messiah more than any other anointed personage in the Old Covenant is that single great personage anointed by God himself He is the Anointed One in the sense that he possesses the fullness of the Spirit of God.
He himself will also be the mediator in granting this Spirit to the whole People. Here in fact are other words of the Prophet: "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good tidings to the afflicted; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.
According to the Book of Isaiah, the Anointed One and the One sent together with the Spirit of the Lord is also the chosen Servant of the Lord upon whom the Spirit of God comes down: "Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him. We know that the Servant of the Lord is revealed in the Book of Isaiah as the true Man of Sorrows: the Messiah who suffers for the sins of the world.
For: "My spirit which is upon you, and my words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your children's children, says the Lord, from this time forth and for evermore.
ISBN 13: 9788428511094
The encyclical was promulgated on 18 May It is a theological examination of the role of the Holy Spirit as it pertains to the modern world and the church and the use of spiritual prayer to renew one's spiritual life. This extended meditation on the Holy Spirit completed the Pope's Trinitarian trilogy of encyclicals, which includes Redemptor Hominis and Dives in Misericordia. In , Pope John Paul II was already anticipating the new millennium, with its new challenges, as well as the new graces the Holy Spirit would bestow upon the Church as she celebrated the Great Jubilee beginning the third millennium of Christianity. Wishing to prepare the Church for these things by giving the people of God an increased awareness and knowledge of the Holy Spirit, he issued the encyclical on May 18, the Solemnity of Pentecost. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Pope John Paul II.