I have always been struck by the reply of some disciples in Ephesus to Paul’s question, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?’ With great honesty, they said, ‘No, we were never even told there was such a thing as a Holy Spirit’.
Paul went on to give them further instruction, and then, laying his hands on them, they received the Holy Spirit. Their answer to Paul’s question speaks for many in our world today, perhaps even for many who have been baptized, ‘We were never even told there was such a thing as a Holy Spirit’. Those disciples in Ephesus needed instruction in the faith on this very important matter of the Holy Spirit. We all need instruction in the faith.
We all have a journey to travel when it comes to understanding our faith and living out faith. In the gospel reading, the disciples speak with great confidence about their understanding of Jesus and their relationship with him, ‘now you are speaking plainly… we believe that you came from God’. Jesus has to puncture their self-confidence, declaring that in a very short time, they will desert him, leaving him alone, and each going their own way.
When it comes to our relationship with the Lord, we are all learners, like those disciples in Ephesus, and for that, we can be grateful. It means that there is so much more to discover about the Lord and his relationship with us and ours with him. Unlike those disciples in Ephesus, we have been told about the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God the Father and of Jesus.
Yet, we have so much more to learn about the place of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and we all have a journey to travel in terms of opening ourselves more fully to the guidance of the Spirit. When it comes to our faith, we are always on a journey of discovery and the road ahead is always full of wonderful surprises, as we seek to enter ever more deeply into the mystery of God’s loving relationship with us.
Come Holy Spirit…….. Amen.
Fr. John Peter