Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity, equally important but rarely spoken about. The power of the Holy Spirit is active in the works of creation, revelation, and redemption. At the beginning and at the end of everything, we find the presence of the Holy Spirit. He is at work in the first chapter of Genesis (1:2) and his voice is heard in the last verses of Revelation (22:17). However the fact is that the Spirit has no beginning and no end. The Father is the beginning and all is accomplished by the Son; the Spirit is the fullness where everything has its origin. Instead of beginning, we take the depth where everything reaches its climax.
There is a relationship established between the Spirit and human beings. The spirit comes to our help in prayer (cf. Rom 8:26). In Pauline language, the word ‘spirit’ is frequently close to the notion of ‘person.’ There is a close relationship between the spirit and the Spirit, at times one is uncertain whether to write the word with a small or a capital letter. The Spirit always works in the innermost level, the depth of the person. The Spirit thus manifest that He himself is the mystery of God in its deeper level.
All the attributes of God are found personified in the Spirit. Power is the first divine attribute, sovereign Master, Almighty are the other attributions. The Jews avoided the sacred name YHWH, used to say ‘Power’; God is holy, powerful, and divine transcendence. The glory of God is God himself and the Spirit is life. Power is creative, holiness is sanctifying, life is vivifying, and love gives itself. This love makes a person capable of love, that love manifests in other fellow beings. The divine is creative that is to say God comes of himself without leaving himself and gives birth to beings outside God. God lives in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The creative power of God in the history is the evolution because the Spirit does not raise up a static universe. He involves evolution. God himself is the action; evolution is by coming out of Himself through the Spirit. Nonetheless people rebelled and grieved his Spirit, but God enters into a new covenant by which He imposed a new Spirit in them. The covenant was by raising up again, through the breath of his Spirit. In the New Testament there are several references where Spirit works. i.e. the Spirit leads Jesus to the desert for temptation, he undertakes his ministry by the power of the spirit, the strength of the Spirit casts out devils. The sacred history arrives at its fullness in the Kingdom of God. Jesus proclaims the Good News of salvation with special option for the poor; the Spirit testifies that God is love. In the making of history, the Spirit is revealed as intimacy in the world, as inwardness of God, making rapport with the world. The Spirit does the agent work for the transformation in the history.
God who raised Jesus from the dead, that is to say God as the Father of Jesus. In the same way, the spirit of God is to be the spirit who raised Jesus from the dead. The power of God is revealed in the resurrection of Jesus. Peter interprets that the body was put to death, in the spirit he was raised to life (I Pet 3: 18). Spirit and power used as the unfailing fidelity throughout the Bible. The flesh is weak, but the spirit is powerful. Thus the strength of the Spirit is the strength of God and it comes from above to reside in person on earth. This spirit changes person into a new being on earth, such as Saul, David, and so on. God is mighty and powerful.
In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit comes upon the young woman Mary and power of the Most High covers her with its shadow. Spirit and power are two names of single reality. Therefore the spirit and power make Mary the Mother of God; this proves that there is nothing impossible for God.
The ministry of Jesus began with the power of the Spirit (Lk 4:14). He is anointed with the power of the spirit. He does marvelous works with the same power of the spirit on his earthly ministry which He acknowledges several times in the Bible that he casts out demons by the power of the Holy Spirit. After the resurrection Jesus promises that he would send down the Spirit. The power of the spirit helps us to submit ourselves to the obedience of faith. The same Spirit makes the frightened apostles into bold witnesses of Jesus, the faithful are strengthened to confess Jesus is the Lord to observe God’s law which gives hope to the people renew themselves. Power is even the name of God. The Spirit is the power and action of God, when he creates, intervenes, enters through incarnation, raises from the dead and establishes a covenant between Himself and people. However this power is different from the power of human beings. Omnipotence is the revelation and newness according to Rom 7:6, it is proper to the spirit.
At baptism, we are endowed with the gift of the Holy Spirit. We become children of God and are incorporated in the church of Christ. We are given rights and duties proper to each one’s status. At confirmation, we are sealed and strengthened in the Holy Spirit in a very special way and are called to be bold witnesses of Christ. We need to realize the power of God working within us and perform the duties assigned to us as Christians. We are God’s children in power and thus, we are called to be prophetic in our present situation where rights, dignity, and respect of millions of our brothers and sisters are denied. Bearing the divine image (Gen. 1:26), we are called to represent the same to others. We need to realize the power of God working within us. We are not alone but the power of God is with us as Jesus had promised while departing from the disciples that He will send the Paraclete who will guide us, direct us, and give us courage and strength. The Holy Spirit filled the prophets with boldness to proclaim God’s message to specific people or nation in a specific situation especially in the times of crisis.
Let us pray to God to fill us all with the power of God as He filled the disciples on the day of Pentecost and turn all of us into bold witnesses of Christ that we continue God’s mission in the world.
Sejal Ramesh Parmar