Lent Day 20 - LIFE OF CHRIST, by Fulton Sheen

Lent Day 20 - LIFE OF CHRIST, by Fulton Sheen

LENT DAY 20 – Thursday March 28


“The next subject which engaged the attention of the Savior the night of His agony, was the Holy Spirit… The Spirit had played a very important role in His life. John the Baptist had foretold two things about Christ: first, that He was the Lamb of God and would take away the sins of the world; and the other, that He would baptize His disciples with the Holy Spirit and with fire The shedding of the blood was for the sinful; the gift of the Spirit was for His obedient and loving followers.


He began by telling them that His death would happen on the following day; they would see Him no longer with eyes of the flesh. A little more time must pass, that is to say, the interval between His death and His resurrection when they would see Him glorified with their bodily eyes. His loss, He assured them, would be compensated for by a greater blessing than His presence in the flesh.


He assured them that while they were presently cast down with grief, the hour would be very brief, just long enough for Him to prove His power over death and to go to His Father. When He passed into the Hour, they would be sad, while His enemies or the world would rejoice. The world would believe that it had done away with Him forever. The grief of His chosen ones, however, would be transitory, for the Cross must come before the crown. “Believe Me when I tell you this, you will weep and lament while the world rejoices; you will be distressed, but your distress shall be turned into joy.” (John 16:20)


The Cross-pangs are the precursors of Resurrection-joys. There must be fellowship with His sufferings before there can be fellowship with His glory. At present, they had sadness because they would no longer see Him in the flesh, but their joy would come through a spiritual quickening, and that joy would have a permanent character about it which the world could not take away.


The nature of this ultimate joy that was to be theirs, the Savior explained in terms of the Comforter or Paraclete whom He would send. “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another to befriend you, One Who is to dwell continually with you forever. It is the Truth-giving Spirit, for whom the world can find no room, because it cannot see Him, cannot recognize Him… It is only a little while now, before the world is to see Me no more; but you can see Me, because I live on, and you too will have life. When that day comes, you will learn for yourselves that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you.” (John 14:16-20)


He now promised them another Comforter or Advocate. As He would be the Advocate with God in heaven, so the Spirit dwelling within them would plead the cause of God on earth and be their Advocate. The Divine secret that He gave was that their loss would now have the greater blessing of the coming of the Spirit. The Father had given a twofold revelation of Himself; the Son was His image walking among men… And in the Spirit, the Father and the Son would send forth a Divine Power, Who would dwell within them and make of their bodies a temple… His continued presence on earth would have meant a localized presence; the descending of the Spirit would mean that He could be in the midst of all men who would be incorporated unto Him.


He next explained that the Spirit would teach them new truths by recalling the old truths, and would recall the old truths in the teaching of the new. “He Who is to befriend you, the Holy Spirit Whom the Father will send on My account, will in His turn make everything plain, and recall to your minds everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26)


As the Son had made known the Father, so the Spirit would make know the Son; as the Son had glorified the Father, so the Spirit would glorify Christ. It was indeed only after the Resurrection and the Descent of the Holy Spirit that the Apostles remember the things that He had said to them, and also came into full comprehension of the meaning of the Cross and Redemption.”


(Chapter 39, pgs. 649-661)

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