The gospel of today continues the Discourses of the Last Supper. The prevailing theme of this gospel is love. In St Matthew’s gospel, Jesus had said:
“Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father in heaven.” (Matt. 7.21)
Love is much more than an emotion. It is a decision to follow the commands of Jesus, who proclaims the will of the Father. John has already recounted how Jesus had washed his disciples’ feet, the act which epitomised the life He had lived. Now he promises that he will send an advocate or paraclete. Appparently the Greek word paraclete carries many meanings: advocate as in a law court, helper, consoler, witness to the truth. When Jesus leaves them, the Holy Spirit will come to bring his work to fruition. Jesus was bound by a time and place in history but the Spirit will make him known to the ends of the earth.
The Holy Spirit can be imaged as the love between the Father and the Son. The power of such love is unimaginable. Worldly might fades in comparison.
“O Great Spirit,
Whose voice I hear in the winds,
And whose breath gives life to all the world,
hear me! I am small and weak, I need your strength and wisdom.”
- An Indian’s prayer