Advocate, Teach, Remind and Lead

by | May 14, 2024 | Formation, Reflections | 0 comments

Jesus sends us the Holy Spirit from the Father. This Spirit of truth is upon us to advocate for us who are weak but seek to fulfill our mission.

Jesus knows that his disciples need an Advocate to speak up for them and defend them. After all, they show time and again their lack of faith and courage. They are, yes, faint of heart.

So, it does not come as a surprise that, after his death, they hide from religious leaders they fear. For these leaders can throw them out of the synagogue and, worse, give them trouble as they did to him.

But, of course, he just does not leave his disciples. And so, he turns up out of nowhere; he comes and stands in their midst. Never mind that the doors are locked where they are. He is true to the weak, afraid and of little faith.

He then gives them the greeting of peace. That is to say, he wants them to know that he forgives them. He does not hold against them that they have yielded to “Everyone for himself.” That they have gone their separate ways and left him (see Jn 16, 32).

He lets them know, too, that they should not fear since he is with them. It is he, as the marks of the wounds on his hands and side show. And it brings them joy to see him. In turn, he proves true his words: “In the world you will have trouble. But take heart; I have beaten the world.”

Then, as he again wishes them peace and breathes the Holy Spirit on them, he spells out why he sends them: they are to announce with their words and with their lives, most of all, the gift of peace and reconciliation.

The Advocate helps the disciples, and others through them, to pass from misunderstanding to understanding, from division to union, from being enemies to being friends, from despair to hope, from hate to love. 

No, the disciples are not to do as the leaders they fear. It means they are to throw out no one. But they should welcome all and find places for them. For it is not enough for them to love God, if others do not love him (SV.EN XII:215). Born excluded, the Church should not exclude others.

And like their Master, the disciples must advocate, most of all, for the little folks. For those others turn away and deem to be sinners, dirty, to be avoided or pushed onto the outskirts.

But the disciples can do their task only if the Holy Spirit reigns in them. Not the spirit of those who seek the best seats and think they keep the law better than others. And defend it, advocate for it.

For sure, the disciples need the Holy Spirit for him to speak through them. And for them to defend with calm and respect the hope they have. Yes, they defend their beliefs. But they do not hate those who question them; they love them.

Lord Jesus, we beg you to give us the Holy Spirit to advocate for us, to remind us always, especially when we share in your Supper, that we live by your death, that we can die like you since your life in us will give us strength to do so, that we should hide in you and be full of you, that to die like, we must live like you (SV.EN I:276).

19 May 2024
Pentecost Sunday
Acts 2, 1-11; 1 Cor 12, 3b-7. 12-13; Jn 20, 19-23

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