Sixth Sunday of Easter: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/052117.cfm
“Hurry Mama, hurry,” pleaded three-year-old Freddy. Frightened by his urgent cry for help, Laura sped to the emergency room and insisted he be seen immediately. Her persistence saved Freddy’s life, as they discovered he was experiencing an episode of Myocarditis, a virus to the heart, which has a 40% mortality rate. Laura, like a mama bear, advocates tenaciously for her children, ever since their twins were born prematurely two years earlier. She contends every person needs an advocate in the hospital or care facility. Each person needs the advocacy of a good parent, concerned friend, dedicated teacher, or caring healer.
This Sunday’s readings speak of the disciples receiving the Spirit, “an Advocate to be with you always.” What a gift! What a blessing to know we have an Advocate, who insists, persists, and continually works on our behalf! The Holy Spirit, this Divine Advocate, moves mountains, breaks down barriers, and blows past impossible circumstances in aiding our divine call to holiness, to sainthood, to love—to the abundant life! In the Spirit, we have an Advocate who leads us spiritually, helping us to realize ourselves as God’s beloved, and to discern and follow God’s will.
In the fifth grade, the Archbishop laid hands on my head, empowering me with the Holy Spirit, but all I remember is the dress I wore. Looking back, I now recognize moments and times when the Spirit had been advocating for me by bringing people and circumstances into my life for my spiritual good. Sometimes I followed the Spirit’s lead, and sometimes not. Through it all, I now appreciate how the Spirit’s breath softly, and sometimes harshly, blew past my deafness, disobedience, or indecisiveness to bring about a spiritual good—more than I could ever have imagined.
One of our children, disappointed in not being accepted into a certain college, later flourished at another. One daughter, passed on a dream job, landed a position much better designed for her. One child suffered heartbreak, recovered and learned more about real love. We experience disappointments, make terrible decisions, and travel over rough terrain, yet if we are open, the Spirit somehow works through them, making us wiser, stronger, more loving, and closer to our Lord.
As parents and grandparents, we name grace—God’s advocating presence—by speaking of the Holy Spirit’s gracious works. In order for our children to trust in the Spirit, they must understand that God is good all the time, and works continuously on their spiritual behalf. “Pray for the Spirit’s wise counsel when making a decision.” “I just know God has something better planned for you.” “God is calling you closer to Him through this experience.” With the Holy Spirit, stumbling blocks become stepping-stones, obstacles become strength builders, and “the sea becomes dry land.”
Laura’s advocacy saved Freddy’s life in that critical moment, but best of all, Laura advocates for her children’s spiritual good. Each person needs an earthly advocate, but even more important is our heavenly Advocate, the Holy Spirit. As parents and grandparents, we wisely lead our children to the Holy Spirit—the Parent, Friend, Teacher, Healer—who is always with them, loving them, and advocating for their eternal good. We have an Advocate for life! Now, that’s good news!
How has the Holy Spirit advocated for your spiritual welfare?
How will you advocate for your child’s spiritual good?
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Mary Pedersen reflects on Scripture through the lens of a parent/grandparent. To contact Mary about preaching or speaking to your community: www.mary pedersen.com
The blog on this page presents reflections on the Sunday readings through the lens of a parent/grandparent, aiding leaders of the domestic church in their vital task as “first heralds” or “first preachers” of the Good News in the home.