Sunday, June 5, 2022

Pentecost: The Spirit Intercedes With Inexpressible Groanings

This year, at Pentecost, I find much to dwell upon in this passage from Romans, chapter 8. There is much here that resonates with my own personal struggles, as well as with the sufferings in our world so full of desperation and violence and yet so immensely loved by God. I find hope here in the midst of the inexplicable cries of my own soul, and the often-confused, obscure, sometimes hesitant, sometimes ardent longings of people all over the world who seek the truth, who seek healing.

We must offer our “groaning within ourselves” in solidarity with those who search for light in the darkness - a search that the Spirit mysteriously stirs in the depths of their hearts. Thus we can share our hope for salvation, knowing that the same Spirit who works with us is calling and drawing every person. In the Spirit, our patience, our endurance, our sufferings will bear fruit in Jesus Christ, according to the wisdom and love of God.

We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now; and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that sees is not hope. For who hopes for what one sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.

In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit ­himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because he intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will.

~Romans 8:22-27