“I WILL NOT LEAVE YOU ORPHANS; I WILL COME TO YOU.” JN 14:18
Humbly submit your will to God (Thy Will be done) and consecrate yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
And I will ask the Father,
and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always,
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,
because it neither sees nor knows him.
But you know him, because he remains with you,
and will be in you.
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
In a little while the world will no longer see me,
but you will see me, because I live and you will live.
On that day you will realize that I am in my Father
and you are in me and I in you.
Whoever has my commandments and observes them
is the one who loves me.
And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” JN 14:15-21
Today, Jesus is reassuring the Apostles at the Last Supper that He will remain with them through “another Advocate”. The Scripture Scholars define these verses in this way:
Another Advocate: Jesus is the first advocate (paraclete); see 1 Jn 2:1, where Jesus is an advocate in the sense of intercessor in heaven. The Greek term derives from legal terminology for an advocate or defense attorney, and can mean spokesman, mediator, intercessor, comforter, consoler, although no one of these terms encompasses the meaning in John. The Paraclete in John is a teacher, a witness to Jesus, and a prosecutor of the world, who represents the continued presence on earth of the Jesus who has returned to the Father.
Jesus gives the Apostles the Holy Spirit. The important thing for us to understand is we received the same Holy Spirit at our Baptism and Confirmation. This is revolutionary! With the Holy Spirit in us, we are called to be in our own lives the “continued presence on earth of the Jesus who has returned to the Father”. We are called to be “witnesses”. This is a journey that requires us to love Christ by keeping His commandments.
St. Paul reminds us in the second reading today that this journey includes being ready to explain to people in a compassionate and reverent way why we have hope. Our journey of faith requires us to wrestle with God on the most important issues in life and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us through this amazing journey.
The hardest part, giving ourselves up so the Holy Spirit can work through us. Giving ourselves up, so God can transform us and help us change the way we think (metanoia-conversion). In this great journey of love that we see in the Holy Trinity, we begin to build the Kingdom of God on earth in our families, our parishes, and in our communities. Come, Holy Spirit!
What is this Spirit of truth? The Scripture scholar’s for the Gospel verses today explain, “it is a moral force put into a person by God, as opposed to the spirit of perversity.” They go on to say, “it will teach the realities of the new order (Jn 14:26), and testify to the truth (Jn 14:6).”
What is this new order? Jesus came as the second Adam and Mary the second Eve. The garden where Jesus is buried and rose from the dead represents the garden that Adam and Eve first disobeyed God. Grace restores what sin has damaged through our Savior, our mediator between God the Father and His children.
How do we come to know the revealed Truths that have directed our first bishops, the pope, our priests, and each baptized person? First, Jesus set up on earth outward signs instituted by Christ to give grace called sacraments. Jesus, sitting at the right hand of the Father, through a bishop or priest, gives us grace in each sacrament. The Holy Spirit is called upon in each sacrament as we learned today to guide the Church/people.
We see this Tradition passed down in Acts of the Apostles today with the “laying on of hands”. Grace is a free gift and it is God’s life in us given to us in the Sacraments, in offering up our crosses, in prayers, and in works of mercy. Jesus explains today, “I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you.”
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus who became Man, marries the physical to the Divine in us. Jesus “dwells” within us through the power of the Holy Spirit. We are made for a spiritual world, but this physical world of limited time and space is important for us to learn how to love before we enter into perfect love with the One who is perfect love.
This should inspire us to fight sin harder, to learn about the Devil and all of his empty promises, so we can resist his lies and temptations. We should be inspired to keep the commandments which teach us to have a personal relationship with the Father who made us through His Son, guided by the Holy Spirit. In knowing how much the Father loves us, we then are called to keep the other 7 commandments and love others.
The greatest tragedy of our faith is if the Devil is successful in making God look like a dictator who has suppressed His people and uses His powers against us with a set of awful rules to follow instead of a loving Father portrayed in the prodigal son. A Father who has set His people free from the slavery of sin and gives them the complete freedom to choose. We are called to use our intellect to form our conscience to use this gift of freedom the way God intended it.
We have a Father who never tires of forgiving no matter how many times we come back with the same sin or how severe the sin is. A Father who has mercy on us and gives us a clean slate. A Father with a plan to bring us back to Him so we can share in His Divine life and glorify all He has made and done for His creation.
Today’s challenge: Call the Spirit of truth, the Advocate, to come stir in you this great love of the Father, through our mediator and Savior, Jesus Christ so that we may live in His presence each and every moment of our lives. Call the Spirit to teach you to pray and have a conversation with a living God in each moment of your day. Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and enkindle them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And you shall renew the face of the earth!
Be a servant, become a saint!