During the “Mass of the Holy Spirit” concelebrated this Friday morning by all the electors, Fr. James Grummer, the Vicar General of the Society of Jesus, presided over the Eucharist and preached the homily. He highlighted the fact that St. Ignatius himself did not write much about the Holy Spirit, but in the Spiritual Exercises, he does make reference to the text that served as the gospel for today’s mass where Jesus appears to his disciples who are gathered in the Upper room in a state of pure fear. The Lord appears to his own with a message of peace and he gives them the Holy Spirit. Fr. James interpreted this passage in the following way: “One will notice that the movement that St. Ignatius proposes is quite simple: a journey from fear to joy and from the gift received to the mission, a journey that is proposed to each Jesuit and each General Congregation.”
Yes, we might have reasons to fear: the challenges of our modern world are numerous and immense. Yet, these fears are just as useless as they are numerous. What counts above all is the joy that accompanies every experience of the Risen Christ who brushes away our fears. We have already had this experience many times.
Joy is nevertheless only one of the gifts received from the Risen Christ. Fr. Grummer went on to explain how the members of the General Congregation have also received the gift of identifying the action of the Spirit in the Society of Jesus, in the Church and in the world at large. They have been able to deepen their appreciation of the gift of belonging to a group that is united under the banner of the Cross. This gift calls us to put ourselves generously at the service of Him who gave it to us, He whose desire is to bring healing and blessing to a broken world.
The homily also brought to light the link between our experience and the Jubilee of Mercy. Jesuits have a duty to collaborate with the Lord who goes out in search of the lost sheep, who never tires of welcoming back the Prodigal Son.
Concerning the task ahead of the electors after the mass, Fr. Grummer had this to say: “our mission this morning is to elect a General. We will be locked in an upper room, not out of fear, rather so that we can better listen to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit. We are not afraid, because we believe firmly that the Holy Spirit guides the election. (…) We can be confident that Jesus will give us his Spirit, however infirm we may feel.
To read the complete text of the homily
En Español: https://gc36.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/20161014-Grummer-Omelia-ES.pdf
En français: https://gc36.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/20161014-Grummer-Omelia-FR.pdf
In English: https://gc36.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/20161014-Grummer-Omelia-EN.pdf