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  My Witness

Vol. 8, No. 1, January, 2003

The Holy Spirit -- Agent of Evangelization, Part 6
by Sr. Brigid Meierotto, S.N.C.

Sister Brigid "Evangelization will never be possible without the action of the Holy Spirit" (Pope Paul VI, Evangelization in the Modern World, par. 75).

In this message we have the privilege of meeting the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Love!

We see the Spirit of power, glory, and holiness in his truest, most mysterious light when he appears as the fullness of love, of communion, of transcendent charity.

Romans 5:5 is the single text that proclaims the identity of the Spirit with love. Also, there is only one text that states that God is love (1 Jn. 4:8, 16). Paul says in Ro. 5:5:

"and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."
Even though this is the only explicit statement, still, the identity of the Spirit with love is suggested everywhere. Paul in his letters, joins together walking in the Spirit, and acting in charity.

It is the Holy Spirit who is the power active in our hearts (Ro. 5:5; 2 Cor. 1:22); the power that is opposed to the flesh (Gal. 5:17; Ro. 8:13). Paul tells the Galatians in Gal. 5:17:

"For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would."
The work of the flesh is clearly opposed to charity (Gal. 5:19f), while the fruit of the Spirit is love, together with joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control (Gal. 5:22f). The Spirit wants us to experience this fruit with him.

The letter to the Colossians has only one reference to the Holy Spirit, and he is named in relation to love (Col. 1:7b 8):

"He is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit."
Love, charity, is the virtue that lasts (1 Cor. 12:13). It is the virtue that fulfills the whole law (Ro. 13:10). It is the work of the Holy Spirit the Spirit of Power, of Glory, of Holiness, of Love!

The Holy Spirit produces the fruit of charity and at the same time is himself the fruit, the sacrifice of love that pours out upon us (Jn. 19:30, 34; 7:37-39). In chapter 19, verse 30, John writes:

"When Jesus had received the vinegar, he said, 'it is finished' and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit."
In past messages of this series, I have spoken about the intimate relationship the Holy Spirit desires to have with us. In 2 Cor. 13:14, Paul calls this relationship, the fellowship of the Holy Spirit!

Think about this word fellowship! The Spirit means for it to warm your heart! The Holy Spirit is oneness and the creator of communion, life giving communion with him, with the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ.

You see, in Jesus, through the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, the Father makes a New Covenant. The abundant outpouring of the Holy Spirit is the foundation of the New Covenant (Jer. 31:31; Ez. 36:26f). Ezekial prophesies:

"A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh."
Who can imagine the power of the Spirit's love? It has the strength to make one single being out of many as the Agent of evangelization, this is the desire of the Holy Spirit that by the power of his love we witness Jesus to everyone our families, the marketplace, our place of employment. Paul proclaims in 1 Cor. 12:13:
"For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body Jews or Greeks, slaves or free and all were made to drink of one Spirit."
Love is the power that unites. Where there is love there is a lover it is the Spirit who is the Lover and he yearns for us (Rev. 22:17):
The Spirit and the Bride say, "Come." And let him who hears say, "Come." And let him who is thirsty come, let him who desires take the water of life without price.
Because the Holy Spirit is love, then his power is power that is at is best in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). We see this in the death and the resurrection of Jesus (Rev. 5:12). We see it in our own weakness.

Because the Holy Spirit is love, his holiness does not separate him from us, but urges him to create, and even brings God to earth Jesus born of Mary!

Because the Holy Spirit is love, his glory is first of all, love poured out. In humility, God is glorious through his love for us! As the Agent of evangelization, he wants us to have this same glory in bringing the Good news of Jesus to others.

Pray, ponder, receive, return, and give the Spirit's love! The Holy Spirit dwells in you--there is never a moment that you have to be without his fellowship!

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