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posted 13 May 2018, 11:03 by Our Lady of Fatima Church - White City London   [ updated 13 May 2018, 11:04 ]

The Gift of The Holy Spirit

As we reach the final days of this year’s Easter journey, it is appropriate that in today’s Gospel we hear almost the final words of Jesus to the disciples at the Last Supper before he was taken away from them to his Passion and death. Knowing the preciousness of these final moments he shares with them the deepest prayers of his heart – a prayer that they may be one and not divided, a prayer for their protection from the enemy and a prayer that they may be for ever consecrated in God’s truth. Jesus entrusts them (and us!) to his (and our!) Father’s care. Jesus wants nothing but the best for them/us, even though he knows that these trusted disciples will all abandon and betray him in different ways in the coming days, just as we too betray him in our lives. I recently saw a beautiful sign next to a confessional box, words as if spoken by Jesus to each one of us – “Nothing you confess could make me love you less.” This is exactly the spirit of Jesus’ total unconditional love for us in today’s Gospel.

These final days of our Easter journey are of course the days between the Ascension (which we celebrated last Thursday) and Pentecost (which we celebrate next Sunday). Jesus is again taken away from the disciples, this time through his return to God the Father in heaven as he entrusts his mission to the disciples and the infant Church on earth. Again, at a time of parting, Jesus desires only the best for them/us, as he asks the disciples to wait in expectant prayer, together with Our Lady in the Upper Room, for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon them. The Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Holy Trinity, we might think of as the love between the Father and the Son. It will be through the power of the Spirit working in them that the disciples will be able to faithfully and fruitfully continue Christ’s work here on earth. The same is true for us today and so we are encouraged to pray the novena (nine days’ prayer) during this time for a renewal/deepening of the life of the Holy Spirit within us. You’ll find such a novena at the back of church – let’s be united in this prayer!

With Easter blessings & prayers - Fr Richard, Fr Ephrem & the parish team.