A Thought from the Bishop’s Chapel — Sunday, May 17

As Pentecost nears, we hear in the Gospel of the work of the Holy Spirit.   “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth” (John 14:16).   How important is this Spirit?   Very important, to the life of the Church, the Body of Christ, and to our own lives in the Church!  

Our Catechism of the Catholic Church will remind us, “Consubstantial with the Father and the Son, the Spirit is inseparable from them, in both the inner life of the Trinity and his gift of love for the world” (#689).   Is it not to this unity that our Lord alludes when He says that He will ask the Father to “give you another Advocate to be with you always” (John 14:16)?    There is a unity — consubstantiality — which insures the continuance of the work of salvation.   In this way, our Lord will say, “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18). 

The word our Lord uses, Advocate, has strong connotations and comes from a Greek word, “Paraclete,” used, though not exclusively, in the courtroom.   he Advocate defends and protects.   Thus, our Lord assures us, “I will not leave you orphans” (John 14:18).   The Advocate or Paraclete is one who is summoned to aid, comfort, and intercede.    Thus, our Lord sustains us by saying, “I will come to you” (John 14:18).   The “world” of lies, deceit, and corruption may not recognize the Lord and seek to accuse us, “but you will see me” (John 14:19).  The Spirit is at work.

In this beautiful way, in this intimate way, the Lord promises to be with us always.  The work of the Spirit is alive, powerful, and true.  “I live and you will live” (John 14:19).   What need have we to fear when united to Him?