The Gifts of the Holy Spirit, by Randall Smith

Merry Christmas, According to the Letter to the Hebrews, by Dr. Jeff Mirus
December 26, 2022
To Trump: Your Support for Gay Propaganda Will Not Make America Great Again, by George Neumayr
December 27, 2022

*Image: Mary’s fiat from The Annunciation by Gerard David, 1506 [The MET, New York]

By Randall Smith, The Catholic Thing, Dec. 27, 2022

Randall B. Smith is a Professor of Theology at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas. His latest book is From Here to Eternity: Reflections on Death, Immortality, and the Resurrection of the Body.

The joy of Christmas is rooted in God’s gift of His Son to mankind. But Christ’s birth is merely the first stage of a redemptive act that culminates in Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension to the right hand of the Father, and His sending of the Holy Spirit, by whom “the love of God is poured forth into our hearts.” (Rom 5:5)

The word “grace” comes from the Latin word gratia, which means “gift.”  God’s greatest gift to us is His Son, and that gift is “the gift that keeps on giving.”  In the Gospel of John, after Jesus has washed the disciples’ feet, He tells them He must “go away,” but this is “for their good.” Because if He does not go away, “the Helper will not come.” But if He goes, He says, “I will send him to you.” (Jn 16:7)  Jesus had earlier identified “the Helper” as “the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name.” (Jn 14:26) …