As we have just spent Pentecost Sunday, Timmerie has started a series on Trending with Timmie where it will cover the twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit. Father Tim Grumbach joined her to discuss the two firstfruits, Joy and Peace.
Timmerie started the conversation by talking about how the Trinity is often perceived. God the Father was the face of the Trinity in the Old Testament, guiding His chosen people to the Holy Land. And God the Son was the face of the Trinity in the New Testament, sent to us to direct His public ministry, then suffering and dying for the sins of mankind. And now, since Pentecost when He came down to us, the Holy Spirit plays a major role in our salvation. While the three persons of the Trinity have always been present in human history, we often forget the role that the Holy Spirit plays.
Often misunderstood, the Holy Spirit actually descended on the Apostles twice, once on the night of the Resurrection so that the community could heal, and again at Pentecost, the height of their call to apostolate. In both examples of descents of the Holy Spirit, the authors speak of the Holy Spirit as a “gift.”
“I’d like to unwrap that word, ‘gift,'” Father Tim said. “We look at the fruits of the Holy Spirit, but that’s because the Holy Spirit is primarily a gift given to us. And the fruits are what results from receiving that gift with an open heart and giving that space to God so he can fill it.
Father Tim spoke of how St. Thomas Aquinas wrote about the Holy Spirit, calling him by name, “First Gift.” In other words, the first gift we can give someone is our love for him, our will for his good. Every other genuine gift we give them is because we loved them first, just like the Holy Spirit.
So if we are to open our hearts and fully accept what the Holy Spirit has to offer us, what fruits can we expect from this effort? Well, the first two are joy and peace.
Joy, often mistakenly associated with pleasure and content, is less about a temporal and fleeting emotion, and more about the place of our love. According to Saint Thomas Aquinas, joy stems from charity, which makes the state of our relationship with God paramount to our true happiness.
Father Tim expanded on the idea saying, “And it’s not just loving God – like it’s a small thing, isn’t it? Like there should be more – but that’s being loved by God. [Aquinas] refers to Romans 5:5, how the love of God is poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. It is intrinsically necessary that love produce joy because “every lover rejoices in being united to the beloved.” When we accept the love of the Holy Spirit, joy comes naturally with it.
And what better example of this fulfilled joy than in the Holy Eucharist! Timmerie remembers reading the Catechism of the Council of Trent and each time they referred to joy, she noted its context. “And I kept looking for the word ‘joy.’ And it’s so funny because the only places he talked about joy was in relation to the Eucharist. offering his body for our consumption is the greatest act of love known to mankind, so it’s no wonder it brings such joy.
And just as love brings joy, joy brings peace. There are two types of peace. The first gives us the ability to limit how external things disturb our pleasure in God. And the second type of peace helps us eliminate all desires that do not focus on our one supreme desire: God. “The Lord is my Shepherd; I lack nothing. (Psalms 23:1)
We can imagine what it must have been like to hide in that upper room after the Crucifixion and, unbeknownst to some, the Resurrection. And as we sit and pray with the Apostles and Our Lady, fearing that we will be found and killed for following Jesus, someone appears in our midst. The doors are locked, but someone got in anyway. It’s Jesus. What will he ask of us? Why did we run and hide? How could we leave Him? Aren’t we ashamed?
“’Peace be with you.’… Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’” (John 21:19, 21)
Do not be afraid. Peace be with you that you will not be disturbed in the enjoyment of Jesus Christ and that we will not allow any other desire to come before Him.
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