Grieving the Holy Spirit

I was astonished to read the first sentence of today’s second reading in the Catholic lectionary, Ephesians 2: 30 – 5:2: “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.”

And how do we grieve the Holy Spirit?

with bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, reviling, and malice
(in the New American Bible translation)

or

with bitterness, wrath, anger, wrangling, slander, and malice
(in the New Revised Standard Version)

No matter what translation you read, this is a significant challenge. Sadly, I think groups in the Catholic Church as well as politicians and their followers – in the US and in Honduras – are grieving the Holy Spirit. The abusive language I see in the press and the internet make me grieve.

The advice that Paul gives is what I’d give to anyone commenting publicly on someone with whom they disagree:

“Be kind to one another, compassionate/tenderhearted,
forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.”

That might significantly change the climate in politics and within the church.

For that I pray.

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