In Galatians we read: “What the Spirit brings is very different: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, truthfulness, gentleness and self-control.” These characteristic of the Spirit have become known as the fruits of the Spirit. They are an exact description of Jesus. He is loving and joyful and patient and kind and good and truthful and gentle and a person of self-control. Paul is telling us in this reading that being filled with the Spirit can make us people like Jesus. We can be loving and joyful and patient and kind and good and truthful and gentle and people of self-control. Today we celebrate the great Feast of the Holy Spirit. We are reminded that the Spirit is the Advocate, the Paraclete, the Comforter who is to teach us everything and remind us of the things that Jesus said.
The Spirit comes upon the Church this day to make it a loving Church, a joyful Church, a patient Church, a kind and good Church, a truthful and gentle Church and a Church of self-control. The Spirit is the Sanctifier. God calls the Church and the people of God to be Holy. God gives us through the Spirit the amazing grace to be people like Jesus. The Spirit of God can replace all the obvious works of self-indulgence with the power of His Love.
Come Holy Spirit is our prayer. Lord, make me an instrument of your love and joy and patience and kindness and goodness and self-control. Because I have Jesus in me through my Baptism, I am a person of love and joy and patience and kindness and goodness and truthfulness and self-control. My spirit has experienced all of these qualities from time to time. The test of the fruit of the Spirit is to see how these qualities match up to the same qualities of Jesus. Today’s feast teaches me that these qualities should be manifest in my life all the time. The qualities should be as apparent as fruit is on a fruit tree. The Church should manifest all these qualities to the world. And so must you and I.
Happy Feast Day.