F1. Who is talking when the reading says, “Then was I beside him as his craftsman, and I was his delight day by day, playing before him all the while, playing on the surface of his earth”? Is there a similarity between this ancient reading and the opening of John’s Gospel, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God … ”?
F2. The reading says, “I found delight in the human race.” Do you take delight in the human race? Do you think anyone takes delight in you? Does God? Does Christ?
S1. “The love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.” If God is the source of that love, what kind of love is it that is in your heart? Can you sense the presence of the Holy Spirit in yourself?
S2. Why would God include us intimately in the divine love in the Trinity? If divine love is flowing through you while you are suffering, do you think this helps the world?
G1. Does the Spirit add anything to God’s revelation? Does the Spirit change your understanding of revelation? When you receive new insights, what is the source of them? Can understanding of divine love be exhausted? Have you ever reached a place where “you could not bear” more knowledge of love?
G2. Jesus said to his disciples: “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.” According to Pope Francis could the Holy Spirit be “telling us” (enlightening, guiding, directing) things all the time? Does the Spirit know what is needed in every time and place? What might happen if we don’t control everything to the last detail?
279. … The Holy Spirit works as he wills, when he wills and where he wills; we entrust ourselves without pretending to see striking results. … Let us keep marching forward; let us give him everything, allowing him to make our efforts bear fruit in his good time. …
280. Keeping our missionary fervor alive calls for firm trust in the Holy Spirit, for it is he who “helps us in our weakness” (Rom 8:26). … Yet there is no greater freedom than that of allowing oneself to be guided by the Holy Spirit, renouncing the attempt to plan and control everything to the last detail, and instead letting him enlighten, guide and direct us, leading us wherever he wills. The Holy Spirit knows well what is needed in every time and place. This is what it means to be mysteriously fruitful!
Evangelii Gaudium, 279, 280
**From Saint Louis University