The Soul of Jesus

05-28-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Bing Colasito

In his treatise On the Holy Spirit, St. Basil wrote that the title alone is enough to stir the soul and make one realize that they speak nothing less than the Supreme Being. He is the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Truth, the steadfast Spirit, and the Spirit that guides. It is the Holy Spirit that one turns to when in need of sanctification His breath empowers one to attain its natural end.

Somebody once said that for her: The Holy Spirit is the Soul of Jesus. When Jesus first appeared to all the Apostles (minus Thomas), He said to them: Peace be with you, as the Father has sent me, so I send you. Then He breathed on them and said: Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive men’s sins, they are forgiven; if you hold them bound, they are held bound. He breathed on them; Jesus and His breath (the Holy Spirit) are one.

If Jesus is one with His inhaling and exhaling, He is one with His soul. In the same manner, I am one with my life, my heartbeat, my inhaling and exhaling. If the Holy Spirit is the Soul of Jesus, we can also say that the Holy Spirit is the soul of the church, and His Body is the soul of the mission of the church: the soul of the Apostolate and the soul of the Christian life.

The accounts of the Acts of the Apostles give us this scene: Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. The Soul of Jesus is like a fire, draws people together, enlightens the darkness, purifies, changes, and brings out the essence of things. Like fire, the soul energizes, empowers, and heats up no wonder the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in Acts; is in the form of fire. No wonder John the Baptist told the people: “As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

On the day of Pentecost, Jesus breathes His Spirit, His Soul, into the hearts of the Apostles, the Blessed Mother, and the other women locked in the upper room (cenacle). While locked in the dark cenacle for fear of the Jews, they received the soul of Jesus like a shine of sunlight through the closed room. The soul of Jesus gave them a sigh of relief from all the pent-up tension and fear; and breathed into their hearts a New Life, the Spirit of God, the Soul of Jesus. And from that time on, they were on fire.

The fire transformed the Apostles. They burst out from sadness into joy, indifference into love, fear into peace, selfishness into generosity, infidelity into faithfulness, hardheadedness into patience and kindness, and from impulsiveness into self control. Their transformation was all fruits of the spirit that they received. Jesus’ longing to be the fire ablaze was now happening. The soul of Jesus soaked everyone in God, reminding me of the prophet Ezekiel who experienced fear, emptiness, and meaningless until God said: I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you, and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh (Eze. 36:26).

Let us pray: Lord, give us peace and strength as we journey on in life. And help us to live a life of peace, a life filled with the Holy Spirit.