Fourth Sunday of Easter 2018 yr B: Gift of Spiritual Knowledge.
In our first reading the leaders and rulers are questioning St. Peter and St John. They want to Know under what power and name they are healing. They want information but they are not asking to come to KNOW JESUS.
In our second reading St. John writes that the world does not KNOW us, the Christian or us as Catholic, because it does not know HIM, Jesus. The key is to KNOW JESUS.
In our Gospel we are instructed by Jesus. He says He is the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd knows His sheep, and His sheep know Him. God the Father knows Jesus, and Jesus knows the Father. We must listen to His voice and be obedient to the Will of God just as Jesus was obedient to His Father.
You children have been preparing for your First Holy Communion. You have been given information about what you are to receive. So I am going to ask you some questions to see if you know the first things about Holy Communion.
-We begin our journey with Jesus in the first sacrament we have received, what is that Sacrament? Baptism.
-Sometimes Holy Communion is called by another name, what is that name. Mass or Eucharist.
-What does Eucharist mean? Thanksgiving.
-When we approach the priest or minister of the Eucharist to receive communion they will say to you, “The body of Christ”. What do we say in return? Amen.
What does ‘Amen’ mean? I believe.
What I have asked you is information about what you know. More importantly is WHO you know. Holy Communion is about knowing Him whom you are receiving. So I am going to talk to you about one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the gift of Knowledge.
The gift of knowledge helps a person to embrace the truths of faith. The Holy Spirit helps us make correct judgments regarding earthly things and how these things are related to eternal life and Christian perfection.
The knowledge of these created things leads one to the Creator. These wonderful created things are not to be ends in themselves and held onto tightly. When we do so they become idols or obstacles to union with God. Parents, even your children can become idols for you if you put them above your faith and God. Created things are instruments that help us appreciate the majesty of God and over which we must be good stewards. The things of this world perish, but God is eternal.
The gift of Knowledge is not simply knowledge by information we learn like science, or information about Jesus and the church’s teachings. Knowledge of our faith puts into action this gift of the Spirit.
-Father Jordan Aumann defined the gift of knowledge as “the gift that enables a person to judge rightly concerning the truths of faith in accordance with their proper causes and the principles of revealed truth.”
-The Catechism defines it as “a gift of the Holy Spirit which enables us to see God reflected in all creatures and to praise Him in them, but yet to see the nothingness of creatures in themselves so that we will desire God alone.”
-Father Adolphe Tanquerey defines it as “a gift which, by the illuminating action of the Holy Spirit, perfects the virtue of faith, and thereby gives us a knowledge of created things in their relations to God.”
Pope Francis stated (May 21, 2014), “When our eyes are illumined by the Spirit, they open to contemplate God, in the beauty of nature and in the grandeur of the cosmos, and they lead us to discover how everything speaks to us about Him and His love. All of this arouses in us great wonder and a profound sense of gratitude.”
Albert Einstein said, “There are two ways to live your life, one is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a miracle.”
While we may accumulate many material things, e.g., wealth and possessions, we know these things deteriorate, perish, or are simply left behind at death, therefore, we know they are blessings to be used wisely for the glory of God and the good of others.
A person knows that God loves us and will never abandon us. Only He is worthy of all of our love. He must be the first priority of our lives.
The gift of knowledge assists us in holiness in three ways:
- first, it gives us a knowledge of introspection enabling the person to see the state of his soul; this makes praying for this Gift of the Spirit important before we go to confession.
- second, it gives us a knowledge of detachment from material things.
- third, it helps our sense of faith giving us a divine instinct about whether or not things are in accord with the faith or whether something is of or not of God.
Finally, it gives us “knowledge” of how to help others, particularly in spiritual ways. For example, St. Padre Pio had a super gift of knowledge. He could read souls, knowing the true spiritual disposition of a penitent.
The way to cultivate the gift of knowledge is to continue to study our faith: Take time to read sacred Scripture, study the teachings of the Church, and stay close to God in the Sacraments. Saint Paul says: “I have come to rate all as loss in the light of the surpassing knowledge of my Lord Jesus Christ. For His sake, I have forfeited everything; I have accounted all else rubbish so that Christ may be my wealth,” (Phil 3:8-9).
I pray that you will all grow in the Spiritual Gift of Knowledge, so to know who you are and who God is and so to put Him first in your lives. God bless you.