Dear brothers and sisters,
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit,
whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you everything
and remind you of all that I told you.
The promise of our Lord to send the Holy Spirit who will remind us of all that He taught us is fulfilled on the evening of Easter Sunday when our Lord breathes that same Spirit into the Apostles and continually through to the Day of Pentecost and through all their missionary work of bringing the Good News to all nations.
This same Spirit was present and reminding the apostles and disciples of the early church as we hear in today’s first reading. In order to settle the dispute amongst the Jewish Christians and the Gentile Christians on circumcision, the Holy Spirit reminds the Apostles and presbyters about the real and only effective ‘circumcision’ that took place on the Cross.
In the Old Covenant, circumcision of males was the sign and seal of their covenantal relationship with the God of Abraham. History has proven that this ritual was unable to bring about the communion with God that circumcision signified.
The Gentiles of the Apostles time had their own sacrament by which they signified and sealed their covenantal relationships with their own gods. It involved the sacrifice of animals, the consumption of those animals meat and blood and ritual sexual orgies to signify their communion with the gods.
Both the circumcision of Jews and the pagan rituals of Gentiles are today proclaimed ineffective and void by the Holy Spirit and the Apostles and presbyters. Both these rituals are now replaced with the life, suffering, death, resurrection and ascension of the Son of God.
The perfect and total love of the Father and the Son is enacted on the Cross when the Father Himself sent His Son to totally sacrifice His life for us to the Father. It is in the eternal and divine covenant of the love of the Father and Son which They made incarnate on the Cross that can bring about the communion with God and one another that we all seek.
The Spirit and the Church continues to remind us today to enter into that Holy Communion by our faith in and reception of the very Flesh and Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Crucified and Risen Lord. This is how we will get to love as He has loved us. – Fr. Simi.