Openness and the Spirit


In today’s readings for Mass, Jesus talks about the Holy Spirit. He cautions against speaking against the Spirit, just after the Pharisees have accused him of having an unclean spirit. Jesus advocates a kind of openness to God’s grace when others want to be more restrictive and narrow about where and how grace can happen.

Jesus in his ministry does many unexpected and countercultural actions. He goes to Samaritans, speaks to women, touches lepers, and heals the child of a Roman oppressor. In today’s gospel he names his “brothers and sisters” as much wider a circle than his human family as it is usually understand and named. Jesus preaches openness to love and relationship when human beings want to shut it down out of their own fears, anxieties, sense of good name or just human convention.

The Holy Spirit always leads us to openness and to wider as well as deeper connections. The Holy Spirit encourages, consoles, and expands our hearts. Jesus sees others as part of the wider human family. Do we? How do we show this in our actions with one another? How do we experience this connection in the movements of our hearts?