St. John Vianney said that if we really understood how much God loves us, we would die from joy.
God’s burning desire is to share God’s very life with us. That’s why Jesus was born and then died and was raised again. That’s why the Holy Spirit has been given to us. And the invitation is given in the form of a new commandment, “Love one another as I have loved you.”
Jesus told the disciples at the Last Supper that the Father would send them another Advocate. Jesus was their first advocate. For years, he was at their side, teaching, and listening to them. Jesus cared for them, and now that he is about to leave them, he promises another Advocate.
The new Advocate is the Holy Spirit who will lead and guide them. The Holy Spirit will give them words to speak and teach them how to pray. The Holy Spirit will strengthen them and help them to continue the works of Jesus. All this is love. And, of course, this is promised to us as well.
Jesus is the way into the life and love of God. We are invited to dwell there, loving God and others in return. Knowing this in our head is one thing. We need to ask God for the grace to know it in our hearts. The love of God needs to be the most important part of our lives. Once we know and believe that God truly loves us, life is changed forever.
As we approach the Feasts of the Ascension and Pentecost, we pray as Christians have for centuries, “Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love.”
Perhaps one day we may die from joy.