Since we just passed Pentecost Sunday, Timmerie began a series on Trending with Timmerie where she will be covering all twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit. Father Tim Grumbach joined her to discuss the first two fruits, Joy and Peace.
Timmerie began the conversation by talking about how the Trinity is often perceived. God the Father was the face of the Trinity in the Old Testament, guiding His Chosen People to the Holy Land. And God the Son was the face of the Trinity in the New Testament, sent to us to lead His public ministry, then suffering and dying for humanity’s sins. And now, since Pentecost when He came down to us, the Holy Spirit plays a prominent role in our salvation. While all three persons of the Trinity have always been present in human history, we often forget about the role the Holy Spirit plays.
Often misunderstood, the Holy Spirit actually descended upon the Apostles twice, once on the night of the Resurrection so that the community could heal, and again on Pentecost, the pinnacle of their call to apostolate. In both instances of the Holy Spirit’s descents, the writers talk about the Holy Spirit as a “gift”.
“I would love to unpack that word, ‘gift’,” said Father Tim. “We’re looking at the Fruits of Holy Spirit, but that’s because the Holy Spirit first is a gift that is given to us. And the fruits are what result from receiving that gift with an open heart and giving that space to God so that He might fill it.”
Father Tim talked about the way St. Thomas Aquinas wrote about the Holy Spirit, calling Him by the name, “First Gift”. In other words, the first gift that we can give to anybody is our love for them, our will for their good. Any other genuine gift that we give to them is because first, we have loved them, just like the Holy Spirit.
So, if we are to open our hearts and wholly accept what the Holy Spirit has to offer us, what fruits can we expect this endeavor to bear? Well, the first two are joy and peace.
Joy, often mistakenly associated with pleasure and content, is less about a temporal and fleeting emotion, and more about where our love is placed. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, joy stems from charity, therefore making the state of our relationship with God paramount to our true happiness.
Father Tim expanded on the idea, saying, “And it’s not just loving God – as if that’s some small thing, right? As if there needs to be more – but it’s being loved by God. [Aquinas] refers to Romans 5:5, how the love of God is poured into our hearts via the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” It is intrinsically necessary that love produces joy because “every lover rejoices at being united to the beloved”. When we accept love from the Holy Spirit, joy naturally comes with it.
And what better example of this joy come to fruition than in the Holy Eucharist! Timmerie recalled reading through the Catechism of the Council of Trent and every time they referred to joy, she made a note of its context. “And I kept looking up the word ‘joy’. And it’s so funny because the only places where it talked about joy was in relation to the Eucharist.” The holy sacrifice at the altar where Our Lord offers His body up for our consumption is the greatest act of love known to mankind. So, it’s no wonder it brings about such joy.
And just as love brings about joy, joy brings about peace. There are two types of peace. The first provides us with the ability to limit how external things disturb our enjoyment in God. And the second type of peace helps us eliminate any desires that do not focus on our one supreme desire: God. “The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack.” (Psalms 23:1)
We can imagine what it must’ve been like to be hiding in that upper room following the Crucifixion and, unbeknownst to some, the Resurrection. And as we sit and pray with the Apostles and Our Lady, fearing that we may be found and killed for following Jesus, someone appears in our midst. The doors are locked, but somebody has made their way in anyway. It is Jesus. What will He ask us? Why did we run and hide? How could we abandon Him? Aren’t we ashamed?
“’Peace be with you.’…Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’” (John 21:19, 21)
Do not be afraid. Peace be with you so that you may not be disturbed in the enjoyment of Jesus Christ and we may not let any other desires come before Him.
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