Just like his Father, Jesus gives justice to those in need and defends the rights of the poor. Still and all, he gets them another Defender.
Jesus lifts up his own. They are sad as he says goodbye. And they have the hunch that woe is coming. Is it time to strike the shepherd? With no defender, what will become of the sheep?
The disciples will flee, yes, each of them to his own home and old way of life; they will forsake him. But he will not leave them. He will stay true even to those who turn their backs on him, for he cannot deny himself (2 Tim 2, 13). And he will ask the Father to give them another Defender.
The disciples, then, will not be helpless as are widows, orphans and strangers. For though Jesus is leaving, he will come back through the Holy Spirit. The world does not accept him, since he cannot be known or seen in the way that it sees and knows.
But the disciples know him, for he lives with them, and he will be in them. They are on the same wavelength as he. That is why they grasp and accept him.
The Holy Spirit is more than the one that the helpless call on as Defender.
That the Paraclete, Advocate or Defender lives with the disciples means, in fact, that Jesus lives with them. He calls Jesus to the center. So, the Teacher will again be in the midst of his followers. He gathers again, recollects, for them the words of Jesus, so that they may recall and do them.
So, the Holy Spirit is really the heart and soul of the very self of God. God sends him to be up close to his own. And the love of God is poured out into their hearts (Rom 5, 5), so that there they may give glory to Christ.
Besides, this love prods them to love God and one another. Not so much with words as with the strength of their arms and the sweat of their brows (SV.EN XI:32). And with the creative love of Jesus that gives rise to the Eucharist (SV.EN XI:131), through the coming down of the Spirit.
Since God pours it out, love rules out self-seeking. It has nothing to do, then, with nationalism or any inquisition. So, it does not strive for wealth and power. It is being one especially with those who are in Samaria, with women, that is, with those who are outside. With those who find no defender in the world of sell, buy, consume.
Such love is what St. Paul speaks of in 1 Cor 13, 4-8.
Lord Jesus, righteous, you plead with the Father for the unrighteous. Yes, you are our Defender. Ask the Father to give us the other Defender who will keep us truthful. May we never be among liars; they say they love God, but do not keep his commandments.
17 May 2020
Sixth Sunday of Easter (A)
Acts 8, 5-8. 14-17; 1 Pt 3, 15-18; Jn 14, 15-21