Luke and Acts:
Abundant Presence
of the Holy Spirit
Religious Education Congress – Session 7-14
Archdiocese of Los Angeles – March 21, 2010
Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D.
Loyola Institute for Spirituality, Orange, CA
Incredible Abundance?
Lectionary Cycle:
– Year A: Matthew
– Year B: Mark
– Year C: LUKE
– JOHN: esp. Lent & Easter
Gospel according to LUKE:
– Many more Prayers, Parables, Poor & Needy, Meals…
– Prominence of WOMEN (also in John)  session 3:14
– Role of HOLY SPIRIT (also in Acts)  session 7:14 2
What is "spirit" / "Spirit"?
What is "spirit" / "Spirit"?
Defs. of "spirit" in English (from
1. the
principle of conscious life; the vital principle in humans,
animating the body or mediating between body and soul.
2. the incorporeal part of humans: present in spirit though
absent in body.
3. the soul regarded as separating from the body at death.
4. conscious, incorporeal being, as opposed to matter:
the world of spirit.
5. a supernatural, incorporeal being, esp. one inhabiting a
place, object, etc., or having a particular character: evil
Def. of "spirit/Spirit" (cont.)
a fairy, sprite, or elf.
7. an angel or demon.
8. an attitude or principle that inspires, animates, or pervades thought,
feeling, or action: the spirit of reform.
9. (initial capital letter) the divine influence as an agency working in the
human heart.
10. a divine, inspiring, or animating being or influence. Num. 11:25; Is. 32:15.
11. (initial capital letter) the third person of the Trinity; Holy Spirit.
12. the soul or heart as the seat of feelings or sentiments, or as prompting to
action: a man of broken spirit.
13. spirits, feelings or mood with regard to exaltation or depression: low
spirits; good spirits.
14. excellent disposition or attitude in terms of vigor, courage, firmness of
intent, etc.; mettle: That's the spirit!
Def. of "spirit/Spirit" (cont.)
temper or disposition: meek in spirit.
an individual as characterized by a given attitude, disposition, character, action, etc.: A few brave spirits
remained to face the danger.
the dominant tendency or character of anything: the spirit of the age.
vigorous sense of membership in a group: college spirit.
the general meaning or intent of a statement, document, etc. (opposed to letter): the spirit of the law.
Chemistry. the essence or active principle of a substance as extracted in liquid form, esp. by distillation.
Often, spirits. a strong distilled alcoholic liquor.
Chiefly British. alcohol.
Pharmacology. a solution in alcohol of an essential or volatile principle; essence.
any of certain subtle fluids formerly supposed to permeate the body.
the Spirit, God. –adjective
pertaining to something that works by burning alcoholic spirits: a spirit stove.
of or pertaining to spiritualist bodies or activities. –verb (used with object)
to animate with fresh ardor or courage; inspirit.
to encourage; urge on or stir up, as to action.
to carry off mysteriously or secretly (often fol. by away or off): His captors spirited him away.
Idiom out of spirits, in low spirits; depressed: We were feeling out of spirits after so many days of rain.
[Origin: 1200–50; ME (n.) < L spīritus orig., a breathing, equiv. to spīri-,
comb. form repr. spīrāre to breathe + -tus suffix of v. action ]
"Spirit" in the Bible
Heb. Ruach & Gk. Pneuma refer to various things
– Root meaning: "moving air" = wind, breath, spirit
– Could be something natural, human, evil, or divine
Hebrew Bible: Ruach
– Translation of Gen 1:1-2?
– "In the beginning when God created the heavens and
the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness
covered the face of the deep, while RUACH from God
swept over the face of the waters." (wind? spirit?)
Jacques Tissot - Creation
"Spirit" in the Hebrew Bible
God’s Ruach as the basis of life
– "Then the LORD God formed man (Adam) from the
dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils
the breath of life; and the man became a living
being." (Gen 2:7)
– "Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath,
prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says
the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath,
and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.’ "
(Ezek 37:9)
Ezekiel 37
Georg Weigel
"Spirit" in the Hebrew Bible
God’s Ruach with prophets, judges, kings
– "Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke
to him (Moses), and took some of the spirit that was
on him and put it on the seventy elders; and when
the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But
they did not do so again." (Num 11:25)
Note: "Prophecy" is not "predicting the future"
but rather "speaking on behalf of God"
Ruach on Judges & Kings: see esp. Jdg & 1 Sam
"Spirit" in the Hebrew Bible
God’s Ruach on the Messiah:
– “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
– The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him,
– the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
– the spirit of counsel and might,
– the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD”
(Isaiah 11:1-2)
"Spirit" in the Bible
Greek Bible used by Early Christians:
– Old Testament (LXX) & New Testament
PNEUMA = any "moving air": wind, breath, spirit
– Cf. English "pneumonia" = illness of the lungs
– or "pneumatic" (air-powered) tools: drills, pumps…
Greek verbs pneo / ekpneo = "to breathe (out)“
– Used only in connection with Jesus’ death
"Pneuma" in the NT
Something in nature:
moving air, wind, breath
Something human, but from God:
spirit of adoption, spirit of faith, spirit of gentleness,
spirit of glory, spirit of grace, spirit of holiness,
spirit of life, spirit of power & love & self-discipline,
spirit of prophecy, spirit of wisdom and revelation,
spirit of your minds, spirits of the prophets,
spirits of the righteous, spirit of Elijah
"Pneuma" in the NT (cont.)
Something demonic:
– evil spirit, unclean spirit
– demonic spirit, foul spirit
– spirit of an unclean demon
– spirit of cowardice, spirit of divination
– spirit of error, spirit of slavery
– spirit of the antichrist
– spirit of the world, sluggish spirit
"Pneuma" in the NT (cont.)
Something divine:
Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit of God
Spirit of (our) God, Spirit of the Living God,
Spirit of the Lord, Spirit of your Father,
Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead,
Spirit of His Son, Spirit of Jesus
Spirit of Christ, Spirit of Jesus Christ
Spirit that is from God
Spirit of Truth, eternal Spirit
seven spirits of God (only in Rev 3)
Trinity from Mission Santa
Clara & by El Greco
Icon by
Trinity from Mission Santa
"Holy Spirit" in the Gospels
(see statistics table on handout)
– "spirit" used 24 times, but "Holy Spirit" only 4 times
– "spirit" used 19x, but "Holy Spirit" only 5x
Luke + Acts:
– "spirit" used 36x + 70x; "Holy Spirit" used 13x + 41x
– "Holy Spirit" drives all the action (see handout)
John & 1 John:
– "Holy Spirit" 3x; "Spirit of Truth" 4x; "Paraclete" 5x
"Holy Spirit" in MARK
1:8 – [John the Baptist]: "I have baptized you with water; but he will
baptize you with the Holy Spirit." (cf. Matt 3:11; Luke 3:16)
1:10 – And just as [Jesus] was coming up out of the water, he saw the
heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him.
(cf. Matt 3:16; Luke 3:22)
3:28b-29a – "Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never
have forgiveness..." (Matt 12:32; Luke 12:10)
12:35-36 – "How can the scribes say that the Messiah is the son of
David? / David himself, by the Holy Spirit, declared, ‘The Lord said to
my Lord, "Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet." ’ "
(cf. Matt 22:43; shorter in Luke 12:42)
13:11 – "When they bring you to trial and hand you over, do not worry
beforehand about what you are to say; but say whatever is given you at
that time, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit."
(cf. Matt 10:20; Luke 12:12)
More "Holy Spirit" in MATT.
1:18-20 – Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way.
When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they
lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. / …
an angel of the Lord appeared to [Joseph] in a dream and said, "Joseph,
son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child
conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit."
12:27-28 – "If I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own
exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. / But if it is
by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God
has come to you." (Luke 11:20 has "finger of God")
28:19 – "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them
in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,…"
Holy Spirit in LUKE’s Gospel
With John the Baptist:
– Angel Gabriel says: “Even before his birth, he will be
filled with the Holy Spirit” (1:15); …he will act “with
the spirit and power of [the prophet] Elijah” (1:17)
– the child grows and becomes “strong in spirit” (1:80).
With Mary:
– Gabriel tells Mary how she will conceive Jesus:
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the
power of the Most High will overshadow you”
(1:35; part of the “Annunciation”).
Annunciation – J. Tissot
Holy Spirit in Luke (cont.)
With Elizabeth:
– When Mary visits her pregnant older cousin,
Elizabeth is "filled with the Holy Spirit" (1:41).
In Mary’s Song of Praise:
– The Magnificat: "My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior" (1:46-47).
With Zechariah:
– After the birth of John the Baptist, his father is "filled
with the Holy Spirit" and utters a prophecy (1:67).
Holy Spirit in Luke (cont.)
– In Jerusalem, "the Holy Spirit rested on" a righteous
man named Simeon (2:25)
– The Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would
not die before seeing the Messiah (2:26)
– So the Spirit guides him to the Temple, where he
encounters the infant Jesus and his parents (2:27).
Holy Spirit in Luke (cont.)
Preparing for Jesus:
– John the Baptist contrasts himself and Jesus:
"I baptize you with water; but one who is more
powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie
the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with
the Holy Spirit and fire." (3:16)
Baptism of Jesus:
– After Jesus is baptized, "the Holy Spirit descended
upon him in bodily form like a dove" (3:22).
Baptism of
(Luke 3)
Jacques Tissot
Holy Spirit in Luke (cont.)
Temptation of Jesus:
– Before beginning his public ministry, "Jesus, full of
the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was
led by the Spirit in the wilderness" (4:1), where he
is tempted by the devil.
Jesus begins his Ministry:
– After resisting the devil's temptations in the desert,
Jesus returns to Galilee "filled with the power of
the Spirit" (4:14), and begins preaching.
Holy Spirit in Luke (cont.)
"Inaugural Event" in synagogue at Nazareth:
– Visiting his hometown, Jesus reads from the
scroll of the prophet Isaiah: "The Spirit of the
Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor" (4:18)
– After finishing the reading, Jesus declares,
"Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your
hearing" (4:21), implying that he is indeed the
Prophet & Messiah, enlivened by God's Spirit.
Jesus at
(Luke 4)
Jacques Tissot
Holy Spirit in Luke (cont.)
Review of material so far:
– All from the first four chapters of Luke.
– H.S. is with Elizabeth, Mary, Zechariah, Simeon,
and John the Baptist
– Holy Spirit is with Jesus, at the beginning
FEW refs to the Holy Spirit in the rest of Luke!
– Why not?
Holy Spirit is now working in/through Jesus.
– Not an independent character, until later!
Holy Spirit in Luke (cont.)
Jesus’ Public Ministry:
– Jesus casts many "unclean spirits" and "evil spirits"
out of various people (4:33, 36; 6:18; 7:21; 8:2; 8:29;
9:39, 42; 10:20; 11:24, 26; 13:11).
– After seventy disciples return from their mission,
Jesus "rejoiced in the Holy Spirit" and thanks God
for hiding things from the wise but revealing them to
infants (10:21).
Holy Spirit in Luke (cont.)
Jesus teaches his disciples about the H.S.:
– Teaching about prayer: "If you then, who are evil, know
how to give good gifts to your children, how much more
will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who
ask him!" (11:13).
– In response to criticism from his opponents: "Everyone
who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be
forgiven; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit
will not be forgiven" (12:10).
– Don’t worry if put on trial, "for the Holy Spirit will teach
you at that very hour what you ought to say" (12:12).
Holy Spirit in Luke (cont.)
Death of Jesus:
– The final words of Jesus on the cross (in Luke):
“Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said,
‘Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.’
Having said this, he breathed his last”
(Luke 23:46 – exepneusen).
Holy Spirit in Luke (cont.)
Appearances of the Risen Jesus:
– When Jesus appears to his disciples, they are at first
afraid, thinking that they were seeing a ghost / spirit
– But Jesus assures them he is not a ghost / spirit, but
can be seen and touched, since he has flesh and bones
Ascension of Jesus:
(add to handouts)
– Jesus tells his disciples to await "what my Father
promised," namely "power from on high" (24:49).
Holy Spirit in Luke: Review
Very often in the Infancy Narrative
– Elizabeth, Mary, Zechariah, Simeon, J.B.
Often at the start of Jesus’ ministry
– Baptism, Temptations, Inaugural Preaching
With/in Jesus throughout his ministry
– Implicit, not explicit; in his teachings
Given back to God when Jesus dies
– “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”
Send Us Your Spirit – David Haas
• Song published by G.I.A. Music
– Removed here for copyright reasons,
but available in many hymnals
Holy Spirit in ACTS
The Acts of the Apostles?
– Vol. 2, sequel to Luke’s Gospel (see Acts 1:1)
– Similar themes & emphases as Luke’s Gospel
– Prayer, Praise, Preaching, Poor, Healings, Meals…
The Acts of the Holy Spirit?
– As in Luke's Gospel, the Spirit of God inspires and
guides most of the action in Acts.
– Disciples depicted just like Jesus, filled w/ God’s Spirit
– This book could be called "The Acts of the Holy Spirit"
Holy Spirit in ACTS (cont.)
Author (Luke) tells us that Jesus gave instructions
to his chosen apostles "through the Holy Spirit"
– Acts 1:2
The disciples are "baptized with the Holy Spirit"
on the day of Pentecost
– Event promised by Jesus in 1:5, 8
– Event narrated by the Evangelist in 2:1-4
– Event recalled by Peter in 11:15-16
(Acts 2)
Gustave Doré
Pentecost – Wind? Spirit?
Pentecost Event in ACTS 2
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one
place. 2 And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush
of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.
3 Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue
rested on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
5 Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6 And at this sound
the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language
of each. 7 Amazed and astonished, they asked, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how
is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of
Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts
of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs-in our own languages we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power."
12 All
were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?"
13 But others sneered and said, "They are filled with new wine."
Holy Spirit in ACTS (cont.)
The apostles are "full of" or "filled with" the Holy
Spirit, esp. when they preach
– 1:8; 2:4; 4:8, 31; 11:24; 13:9, 52
The Spirit "speaks to" the apostles and prophets
– 8:29; 10:19; 11:12; 13:1-4; 21:11
Deacons/ministers must also be "full of the Spirit"
(6:1-6), esp. when they prophesy
– 6:10; 7:55-59; 11:28; 21:4
Just as H.S. spoke through King David and the
prophets in ancient Israel (1:16; 4:25; 28:25).
Holy Spirit in ACTS (cont.)
God "will pour out" his Spirit on all people and all
nations in the last days
– 2:17-18, 33; 10:45
Believers, including Gentiles, receive the Holy
Spirit when they repent and are baptized
– 2:38; 15:8; 19:5-6
Sometimes the reception of the Holy Spirit even
precedes baptism (see 10:44-48)
Peter & Cornelius (Acts 10)
Holy Spirit in ACTS 10
Peter in the Household of Cornelius (Roman Centurion)
44 While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon
all who heard the word. 45 The circumcised believers who
had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the
Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles,
46 for they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling
God. Then Peter said, 47 "Can anyone withhold the water
for baptizing these people who have received the Holy
Spirit just as we have?" 48 So he ordered them to be
baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they invited
him to stay for several days.
Holy Spirit in ACTS (cont.)
Some people "test" or "lie to" or "oppose" the Holy
Spirit, with dire consequences
– 5:1-11; 7:51
Spirit is conferred through the "laying on of hands"
– 8:17-19; 9:17; 19:6
The Spirit leads and guides the decisions and
actions of the Christian leaders
– 15:28; 16:6-7; 19:21; 20:22-23
Holy Spirit in
Is the Holy Spirit present within us? How?
– Just like in the Apostles, as depicted in Acts?
– In our Preaching, Teaching, Healing, etc.?
– In the Charismatic Movement?
Evidence of God’s Spirit within us:
– Not just from Luke or Acts, but also from Paul
Trinity Symbols – by Rudolf Koch
Holy Spirit / God’s Spirit in Paul
God’s Spirit dwells in us, making us Children of God
1 Thess 1:4-7 & Romans 5:3-5 – (handout)
Galatians 4:4-7 – "But when the fullness of time had
come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under
the law, / in order to redeem those who were under the
law, so that we might receive adoption as children. / And
because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of
his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" / So
you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then
also an heir, through God." [Cf. Romans 8:1-17]
Holy Spirit in Paul (cont.)
God’s Spirit helps us pray & know God’s ways:
Rom 8:26-28 – "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our
weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought,
but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for
words. / And God, who searches the heart, knows what
is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes
for the saints according to the will of God. / We know
that all things work together for good for those who love
God, who are called according to his purpose."
1 Cor 2:10-16 – (handout)
Holy Spirit in Paul (cont.)
We are the "Temple" of God’s Spirit:
1 Cor 3:16-17 – "Do you not know that you are God's
temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? / If anyone
destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person. For
God's temple is holy, and you are that temple."
1 Cor 6:19-20 – "Or do you not know that your body is a
temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have
from God, and that you are not your own? / For you were
bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body."
ina Paul
 God’s Spirit
diversity of
but unity in the community, the Body of Christ:
1 Cor 12:4-7, 11-13 – "Now there are varieties of gifts,
but the same Spirit; / and there are varieties of services,
but the same Lord; / and there are varieties of activities,
but it is the same God who activates all of them in
everyone. / To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit
for the common good... / All these are activated by one
and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually
just as the Spirit chooses. / For just as the body is one and
has many members, and all the members of the body,
though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. / For in the
one Spirit we were all made to drink of one Spirit."
Holy Spirit in Paul (cont.)
1 Cor 12: "Gifts of the Spirit" (seven or eight?)
– wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, working miracles,
prophecy, discerning spirits, speaking & interpreting
tongues (1 Cor 12:8-10)
– wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, piety,
fortitude, fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:1-3)
1 Cor 13: Greatest Gifts: Faith, Hope, Love
1 Cor 14: More on Spiritual Gifts & Worship
Holy Spirit in Paul (cont.)
"Works of the Flesh" vs. "Fruit of the Spirit"
– Gal 5:16-26 – "Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not
gratify the desires of the flesh. / For what the flesh
desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit
desires is opposed to the flesh… / Now the works of
the flesh are obvious… / By contrast, the fruit of the
Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and selfcontrol. There is no law against such things…"
Nine or twelve "fruits" in Gal 5:22-23?
– Vulgate Bible adds goodness, modesty, and chastity, for a
total of twelve; see also Rom 13:8-14.
"Holy Spirit" in the Creeds
Apostles’ Creed
Nicene Creed
(10th Century):
– I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
(Council of Nicea (AD 325 - online)
– We believe in one God the Father Almighty…
– and in one Lord Jesus Christ (ca. 10 more lines)
– and in the Holy Spirit. (end; nothing more!)
Creed of Nicea/Constantinople
Council of Constantinople
(AD 381):
– And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father [and the Son],
who together with the Father and the Son is to be
adored and glorified, who spoke by the Prophets.
And one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.
We confess one baptism for the remission of sins.
And we look for the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Part I, Section 2, Chapter 3, Article 8 (In Brief)
CCC (1983 - online): Part I, Section 2, Chapter 3:
– Article 8 (par. 683-747); Articles 9-12 (par. 748-1060)
742 "Because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his
Son into our hearts, crying, 'Abba! Father!"' (Gal 4:6).
743 From the beginning to the end of time, whenever God
sends his Son, he always sends his Spirit: their mission is
conjoined and inseparable.
744 In the fullness of time the Holy Spirit completes in Mary all
the preparations for Christ's coming among the People of
God. By the action of the Holy Spirit in her, the Father gives
the world Emmanuel "God-with-us" (Matt 1:23).
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Part I, Section 2, Chapter 3, Article 8 (In Brief)
745 The Son of God was consecrated as Christ (Messiah) by the
anointing of the Holy Spirit at his Incarnation (cf. Ps 2:6-7).
746 By his Death and his Resurrection, Jesus is constituted in
glory as Lord and Christ (cf. Acts 2:36). From his fullness,
he poured out the Holy Spirit on the apostles and the
747 The Holy Spirit, whom Christ the head pours out on his
members, builds, animates, and sanctifies the Church. She
is the sacrament of the Holy Trinity's communion with men.
The Spirit Sends Us Forth
• Song by Dolores Dufner, OSB
• Published by Oregon Catholic Press (OCP)
– Removed here for copyright reasons, but
available in many OCP Hymnals
Additional Resources:
Fr. Just’s "Catholic Resources" Website:
– Several pages on the "Holy Spirit" in the NT
Loyola Institute for Spirituality
– St. Joseph Center, Orange, CA
– Exhibit Hall, Booth # 362-368
Audio CD Program
"The New Testament: A Guided Tour"
Produced by "Now You Know Media"
Just released: January 2010!
Available in Exhibit Hall, Booth # 282
CD "Signing"
– In Exhibit Hall, right after this session
Your Comments / Questions?
God’s Spirit / Holy Spirit in Luke and Acts?
Presence of God’s Holy Spirit today?
In our individual lives?
In our families and communities?
In our Church, local and worldwide?
In our nation and the whole world?
Thanks for coming today! God bless you!

Spirituality & Prayer