Catholic Q&A

How does the Holy Spirit who guided Jesus differ from the Holy Spirit he sent to his disciples after he was raised from the dead?

It was the same Spirit in both cases. As we have seen earlier, in the Bible the “Holy Spirit” is the breath of God’s creation (rûaḥ). In other words, it is the work of the life of God, that breathes into all things and keeps everything alive. It is also the power that enables those who are specially chosen, to fulfill their respective missions. One might say that it was the Holy Spirit who accompanied Jesus throughout his life, and he was also the grace that enabled his faithful fulfilment of the mission of God until death. He was the breath of creation that raised Jesus from the dead.

At the end of the earthly life of  Jesus which commenced with his resurrection, the Holy Spirit was poured into the earth as the breath of the new creation. The Holy Spirit was showered upon the disciples, thereby reinforcing them and sending them out to nations all over the world.

The Holy Spirit united the disciples with the Lord Jesus Christ, and with each other. If we were to compare the Church to a single human body, one might say that the spirit that keeps that body alive, is the Holy Spirit.

Hence, it is none but the Holy Spirit who links us to the risen Lord Jesus Christ by transcending time and space, and who also sends us out as the Church. To me this seems as though the same breath of God’s creation has now entered a fresh and crucial moment of work.

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