Easter Daily Gospel Reflection - 2 April 2013
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. I will ask the Father, and he will send another Companion [Advocate], who will be with you forever. This Companion [Advocate] is the Spirit of Truth, whom the world can’t receive because it neither sees him nor recognizes him. You know him, because he lives with you and will be with you.
“I won’t leave you as orphans. I will come to you. Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Because I live, you will live too. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them loves me. Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”
Judas (not Judas Iscariot) asked, “Lord, why are you about to reveal yourself to us and not to the world?”
Jesus answered, “Whoever loves me will keep my word. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever doesn’t love me doesn’t keep my words. The word that you hear isn’t mine. It is the word of the Father who sent me.
“I have spoken these things to you while I am with you. The Companion [Advocate], the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I told you.
“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you. I give to you not as the world gives. Don’t be troubled or afraid. You have heard me tell you, ‘I’m going away and returning to you.’ If you loved me, you would be happy that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than me. I have told you before it happens so that when it happens you will believe. I won’t say much more to you because this world’s ruler is coming. He has nothing on me. Rather, he comes so that the world will know that I love the Father and do just as the Father has commanded me. Get up. We’re leaving this place.
For a number of years, my wife was in charge of the S.A.N.E. program on the YWCA. S.A.N.E. stands for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. She, and other nurses, were called out when someone was a victim of sexual assault. They were trained in doing forensic exams of the victim and called upon for expert testimony in trials against the perpetrators.
Not only were the nurses called out, but an advocate was assigned to the case as well. Along with the nurses, the advocates stood with the victims. They believed them when no one else would. They spoke up for the victim when their entire worlds were crashing down around them. When the “justice” system treated the victims like they were at fault for the crimes committed against them, the nurses and advocates were their voices. They spoke to the powers that be when the victims could not. Sometimes, the nurses and advocates were the only ones on the side of the victim.
Still continuing his very intimate conversation with his friends (that’s been going on since chapter 13), Jesus promises to send someone to stand with them - the Advocate. I put Advocate in brackets because “Companion” is a bad translation of the word, in my humble opinion. The Greek word is paraklétos (παράκλητον) and it means, “a legal advocate who makes the right judgment-call because close enough to the situation. paráklētos (‘advocate, advisor-helper’) is the regular term in NT times of an attorney (lawyer) – i.e., someone giving evidence that stands up in court.” While the Holy Spirit is a Companion, there’s more to it than just a buddy walking with you along The Way of Jesus.
The Holy Spirit is an Advocate; standing with you and presenting your case when no one else will. The Advocate speaks truth to power; speaks on behalf of the followers of The Way. When the rest of the world won’t listen, the Advocate hold them accountable. The Advocate is the power that enables the followers of The Way of Jesus to do the work of Jesus in the world.
The Advocate is given out of G_d, the Father-Mother. It’s G_d’s own Spirit, the Love the ties the G_dhead together; makes the Trinity a Unity. And that Unity is not limited to just the Trinity. As we saw earlier, this Unity is something the followers of The Way are a part of. They make up the Unity. G_d the Father-Mother lives in Jesus the Christ. Jesus lives in the Father-Mother. The Advocate comes from the Father-Mother and fills the followers of The Way, bringing all of them into the family of G_d. G_d lives in us and we live, move, and exist in G_d (Acts 17.28).
In the Love of the Three in One,
Br. Jack+, LC