He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.

In many movies or plays, there are two main characters whom everyone remembers: a hero and a villain, perhaps, or two star-crossed lovers. But often enough there is a third character who stays in the background. This character is just as important as the “lead” characters, but he or she gets overlooked until the very end of the story. Unfortunately, this is the way many people think about the Holy Spirit—as a background character compared to God the Father and Jesus his Son.

But the reality is that the Holy Spirit has been an ever-present and equal source of power and grace since before the beginning of time. And as today’s Gospel tells us, God “does not ration” the Spirit (John 3:34). He has been extremely generous in pouring out his Spirit throughout history!

Consider this: the Holy Spirit was there when God created the world, “sweeping over the waters” (Genesis 1:2). He was the “breath of life” whom God breathed into Adam and Eve (2:7). He guided the Israelites on their desert journey (Exodus 40:36-38), anointed King David (1 Samuel 16:13), and inspired all the prophets. He overshadowed Mary so that she could conceive Jesus (Luke 1:35). He was the power behind all of Jesus’ miracles and preaching (Matthew 12:28). And of course, it was the Spirit who transformed the first disciples and sent them out to share the gospel and build a Church that is now present in every culture and nation in the world (Acts 1:8).

This is the Spirit you received when you were baptized. And just as he has done in every age, God has not rationed the gift of his Spirit in you. He is with you to pour out endless grace in your heart: courage, wisdom, insight, healing, mercy, and all the other gifts and virtues that can make you an agent of change in this world.

What a great mystery—and what a great gift! The Holy Spirit is with you, generously breathing new life into you. There is no limit to his ability to transform your heart. And there is no limit to his power to help you share his love.

“Lord, send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the earth—through me!”

Acts 5:27-33
Psalm 34:2, 9, 17-20
John 3:31-36


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