The Gospel. St. John XIV. 15.
Jesus said unto his disciples, If ye love me, keep my commandments, And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of Truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, and ye shall live also. At the day, ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. Hereafter, I will not talk much with you; for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do.
Some of you may have heard, or even used the phrase “Divine Inspiration”. We often associate this notion with some great thought, idea or action that has changed lives or altered the course of history. The Saints and Martyrs of the Church were obviously Divinely Inspired; as were other notable people like Mother Theresa, Pope John Paul II, etc. We might also cite a few secular examples; Abraham Lincoln when he wrote the Gettysburg address and the Emancipation Proclamation; Thomas Edison when he invented the light bulb; Henry Ford, Jonas Salk, Bill Gates; Ok, maybe not so much with Bill Gates.
In any event, we constantly see examples of people who forever changed history through one idea, one thought, one action. And we think, boy, these were really great people. Surely, they had some special “something” that lead them to do great things. Surely they were directed by the Hand of God. Surely they were Divinely Inspired. And just as surely, we think that such things are beyond us.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we say that such Inspiration, is for other people, and not for us? Why do we limit ourselves? More to the point, why do we limit what God can do through us? First of all, we think that we are not worthy. Divine Inspiration means that God must be speaking directly to us; and we’re just not good enough for that. For some unearthly reason, we think that God will only speak through great people, to do great things. It doesn’t occur to us that God will speak to even the least of us. It doesn’t occur to us that God will speak to us even about the littlest things. We think that God only speaks when He wants something grand to happen. We forget that old adage, “God is in the details”.
Next, of course, is our fear; a fear driven by, you guessed it, our pride. We fear that God will tell us to do something that will be hard. We fear that He will tell us to do something we don’t want to do. We fear that by doing what God tells us, we will look bad or foolish to society. We forget or disregard the fact that God never gives us more than we can handle.
All of these things lead to us ignoring God. We shut Him out and refuse to listen. We’ll never know if we are Divinely Inspired, because we DON’T WANT TO BE DIVINELY INSPIRED! As with all the Gifts of God, His Divine Inspiration is something we can accept or reject. We have a choice. “If ye love me, keep my commandments. If a man love me, he will keep my words. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice”. If, if, if! Not YOU WILL, but IF. WE choose. WE decide. WE accept or reject. It is true of all things that God offers to us, including His Commandments, His directions, His Inspiration.
We have to understand that Divine Inspiration doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be directed by God to invent some new gizmo, or write a great speech, or get ordained. Divine Inspiration means that you willingly submit yourself to doing God’s Will; to be a part of His Plan. It means that you open yourself to the idea that you can do something, no matter how large or small, to build His Kingdom.
You see, God chooses us! That’s right, He chooses each and every one of us. He chooses you, and you, and you, and you; and He chooses me. He chooses each of us, and directs us, according to the individual gifts that, by His Grace, we have been given; to do some thing, that will ultimately lead to the growth of His Kingdom. It may be large or small. It may be as significant as being ordained, which I obviously believed to be my path, or it may be as small as visiting someone in the hospital, or talking to someone about your Faith. God is in the details.
Yes, we are all chosen. Are we worthy? Well, think about those men sitting in that upper room on the first Whitsunday. They were fishermen, tax collectors; just ordinary guys. In a flash, they were all changed; they were changed because they loved God, they loved Jesus Christ; and they were then sent the Comforter, the Holy Ghost. Immediately after this, St. Peter, who wasn’t shiniest coin in the fountain, went out and preached the very first sermon of the new Church. These men were no different than you and me. And they changed the world!
Divine Inspiration. What does it feel like? Well, I doubt that we’re all going to have tongues of fire appearing over our heads today; not a good idea in a Church building with so much flammable material around. Let me give you this picture; have you ever seen a cartoon where one character gets an idea and a light bulb appears over his head? It’s what is called the “aha!” moment. It’s where you think, “I’ve figured it out! I’ve got the answer”! Of course, it’s also much more subtle than that. Have you ever thought to yourself, “I wonder what would happen if…”. If you’re even slightly curious about something, particularly if it involves the Church, that could be Divine Inspiration.
Divine Inspiration. It starts with getting your priorities straight. Begin by eliminating this word from your vocabulary; “CAN’T” (and I know that this is a contraction). This word is a killer. I CAN’T give any more money; I CAN’T serve at the Altar; I CAN’T come to Church more often; I CAN’T, because I’m too old, I’m too tired, it’s too dark out, the weather is too bad, my schedule is too busy, I’ve done enough. As soon as you use the word “CAN’T’, you’ve closed your ears to God.
Think about that the next time someone asks you to do something for the Church and you say “I CAN’T”. Divine Inspiration is all about what is possible, through the power of the Holy Ghost (But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men, this is impossible; but with God, ALL things are possible – Matthew 19:26). When we say, “I CAN’T, we deny all that is possible with God.
Divine Inspiration. Why is it important? As Our Lord has told us, it will teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Do you get it now? Divine Inspiration; that IS the Holy Ghost! The Comforter; The one who Jesus said would be sent to us so that we would not be alone. When we listen to God, when we receive Divine Inspiration, we are filled with the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Truth; and we will never be alone; we will never forget the words of Christ and his love for us. Why would we ever close ourselves off from that?
It’s not so hard. It’s just a matter of listening; The Holy Ghost will provide the brain power. All we have to do is listen to him! And here’s the really great part; when you do something through Divine Inspiration, you will quickly realize that this was not your idea. At that same moment, you will also realize that you have acted as God’s agent right here on earth. And you cannot imagine the feeling of peace that this will bring; “Peace I leave with you, MY peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you“.
This is the peace that comes when you understand that you have been taught all things, and remembered all things that Jesus Christ has said and done for you; the peace that comes with the recognition that you have overcome your fear and pride and allowed yourself to become a willing agent of God; the peace that comes with the awareness the you have been a recipient of Divine Inspiration; the peace that comes with the realization that you have also received the Holy Ghost.
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you