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The Intimate Teachings of Christ and the Holy Spirit

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells his disciples, “What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops” (Mt 10:27). This passage not only reflects a traditional practice among Jewish scholars but also carries profound spiritual significance for us Christians today.

In ancient Jewish tradition, scholars often whispered their teachings to their disciples, who then proclaimed these messages to the public. This method was especially useful when interpreters were needed to translate the scholar’s words for those speaking different languages. While the Gospels do not explicitly record Jesus using this exact method, His words in Matthew 10:27 evoke this imagery, pointing to a deeper truth about His relationship with His disciples and, by extension, with us.

Jesus’ reference to whispering suggests an intimacy in His teaching. Throughout the Gospels, we see Christ spending private moments with His disciples, explaining parables and preparing them for their mission. These intimate teachings, whispered in the metaphorical darkness, were meant to be proclaimed in the light, shared with all who would listen.

This concept of intimate revelation finds its fullest expression in the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. As recounted in the Acts of the Apostles, “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 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” (Acts 2:1-2). The Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples, enabling them to speak in various languages and proclaim the Good News to all nations.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church emphasizes the role of the Holy Spirit in this ongoing revelation: “The Holy Spirit, whom Christ the head pours out on his members, builds, animates, and sanctifies the Church” (CCC 747). This outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost fulfilled Christ’s promise to send an Advocate who would teach the disciples all things (Jn 14:26).


For us Christians today, this passage carries a powerful message. We are called to listen attentively to the whispers of God in our lives – through prayer, Scripture, and the teachings of the Church. These intimate encounters with the Divine are not meant to be kept to ourselves but are to be shared with the world.

The Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, ‘Dei Verbum’, reminds us that “the Christian dispensation, therefore, as the new and definitive covenant, will never pass away and we now await no further new public revelation before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Dei Verbum, 4). However, our understanding of this revelation continues to deepen through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

As followers of Christ, we are invited to cultivate a deep, personal relationship with God, to listen for His whispers in the silence of our hearts. At the same time, we are called to be bold proclaimers of the Gospel, sharing the truth we have received with courage and love.

Let us, therefore, open our hearts to the intimate teachings of Christ and the promptings of the Holy Spirit. May we be attentive listeners to the whispers of God and courageous proclaimers of His message, always ready to share the Good News from the housetops of our lives. In doing so, we participate in the ongoing mission of the Church, bringing the light of Christ to a world in need of His love and truth.

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