Isaiah 57: 15-19 “For thus says he who is high and exalted, living eternally, whose name is the Holy One: On high I dwell, and in holiness, and with the crushed and dejected in spirit, To revive the spirits of the dejected, to revive the hearts of the crushed....”
Psalm 85: 9-10, 11-12, 13-14 “…Love and truth will meet; justice and peace will kiss...”
James 3: 13-18 “Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show his works by a good life in the humility that comes from wisdom...”
John 14: 23-29 “…Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him...”
Saint Elizabeth of Portugal. (1271 to 1336) A woman of nobility, she persevered to lead a pious life and saw her husband’s life turn from sin and infidelity to her. She was also very generous with the poor, and worked at peacemaking between her son, who became King of Portugal and the king of Castile, her son-in-law. She became a Franciscan tertiary in the monastery of the Poor Clares after her husband died.
It seems fitting that on Independence Day, celebrated in the United States today, our Church has chosen scripture to allow us to reflect on the gift of wisdom and the Holy Spirit. In John’s gospel we come into a conversation Jesus is having at the Last Supper and of course some of them still want to see the Father. Jesus tells them everything he has said has come from the Father. Then He says “I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name—he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” (John 14:26-27) To a nation, given this freedom and so many blessings, comes a great responsibility as well. A seemingly impossible task becomes possible with a call out to the Holy Spirit for guidance. It is easy to forget the role of the Advocate and to even forget we have access to such great wisdom in our day to day dealings with people, no matter where our work takes us. Let us be most prudent and wise for the asking.
In the second reading from James, again he speaks of wisdom. “Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show his works by a good life in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.” (James 3:13-14). The reflection on wisdom is significant today; as is our work to restore prosperity in our land, which will in turn affect the people around the world.
From the first reading in Isaiah, we are reminded of how much we are loved and supported by our Father, despite our leanings away from God’s Will from time to time. The Prophet calls us back from this movement away from God when he speaks for God in the following line, “Because of their wicked avarice I was angry, and struck them, hiding myself in wrath, as they went their own rebellious way. I saw their ways, but I will heal them and lead them; I will give full comfort to them and to those who mourn for them.” (Isaiah 57: 17-18) Now that is a loving God.
We never have to think we are on our own. Let us use these reminders to call upon the Holy Spirit daily, Come Holy Spirit Come. God Bless Us Everyone, and Happy Independence Day.
Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook