But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts.
Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples that the Advocate is coming after Jesus goes to his Father.The word that gets translated Advocate is “Paraclete,” which is notoriously hard to translate. In addition to Advocate, it can also mean Consoler, Comforter, and Helper. It is important to remember that for St. Ignatius, “consolation” is the heart-knowledge that God is near. This one little word contains a very powerful truth: as Advocate, God is on our side; as Consoler, God is at our side.
Too often many of us can fall into thinking either that God is out to get me or that God is not anywhere close to where I am. In today’s Gospel, Jesus assures us that in the Holy Spirit—the Advocate and Consoler—God is always near, and that the One we find is always on our side encouraging us in our struggles, comforting us in our pain, and celebrating with us in our joys.
—Matthew Stewart, SJ, is a transitional deacon of the Central and Southern Province preparing for priestly ordination in August.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful.
And kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.
And you will renew the face of the earth.
by the light of the Holy Spirit
you have taught the hearts of your faithful.
In the same Spirit
help us to relish what is right
and always rejoice in your consolation.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
—Prayer to the Holy SpiritPlease share the Good Word with your friends!