May 17 2020 Reflection
Sunday 17 May 2020
First Reading: ACTS 8:5-8, 14-17
Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
PS 115:1-2, 3-4, 15-16
Second Reading: 1 PT 3:15-18
Gospel Reading: JN 14:15-21
Today’s Note: Sixth Sunday of Easter
Jesus said to his disciples:
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
And I will ask the Father,
and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always,
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,
because it neither sees nor knows him.
But you know him, because he remains with you,
and will be in you.
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
In a little while the world will no longer see me,
but you will see me, because I live and you will live.
On that day you will realize that I am in my Father
and you are in me and I in you.
Whoever has my commandments and observes them
is the one who loves me.
And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”
He will give you another Advocate. (John 14:16)
“You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.” This familiar phrase is part of the “Miranda warning” that police officers give to any person they arrest. It’s based on the belief that no one should stand alone when facing charges. Someone has to be there to make sure the accused is given a fair trial. It must be consoling for the accused person to have someone by their side at their trial to help them face their accuser with dignity and courage.
Isn’t it interesting that this is how Jesus describes the Holy Spirit in today’s Gospel? The Greek word for “Advocate,” parakletos, also means defense attorney. It’s especially interesting when we remember that the Scriptures portray the devil as our “adversary” who never stops hurling accusations against us (Zechariah 3:1; Revelation 12:9-10).
This means that we don’t have to stand before the devil’s accusations alone. Jesus has given us the Spirit so that we can stand up against the lies of the evil one. He has given us the best defense attorney in history. Someone who will assure us that we have been forgiven. Someone who will remind us of God’s love for us. Someone who sees our sins and failings but who also sees the true desires of our hearts and never gives up on us.
Always remember the Holy Spirit, your defender, especially when you start thinking that you’re no good or that God has given up on you. Remember him when you begin to doubt the goodness of God’s plans for you and your loved ones.
Every day of your life, be sure that you spend time listening for the Holy Spirit. Let him convince you over and over again that you belong to Christ and that no one can snatch you out of his hands.
“Spirit of truth, help me to withstand every temptation and every accusation.”