Sunday, May 25, 2014

Turning toward Pentacost

The Sunday readings never make an abrupt change we always transition somewhat slowly from season to season. In two weeks we will celebrate Pentecost, the birthday of the Church. And so today the gospel turns us to begin our reflection on the Holy Spirit.

Today we reflect specifically on the title in John's Gospel, the παράκλητος (parakletos). It means literally one who is called to be by your side. It is translated into English as comforter, intercessor, advocate. It is the lawyer who stands by you to plead your case in court.

But why will we need a lawyer if we haven't done anything wrong? The answer to that is the reading from 1 Peter

Rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice exultantly. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.

If we are people dedicated to the truth we are not going to be popular, even at times with other Christians. As one author puts it, our task is to comforted the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable. We call everyone to task, beginning of course with ourselves. As we are instructed in Matthew's gospel

first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.

But even then there are going to be those who don't like it, and are going to try and tear us down.

Then we must remember that the parakletos, the Holy Spirit is always right by your side. Listen to that voice, take his advice, speak only what he tells you. And know that he is always there.