Let's ask ourselves: are we open to the Holy Spirit, do I pray to him to enlighten me, to make me more sensitive to the things of God? And this is a prayer we need to pray every day, every day: Holy Spirit may my heart be open to the Word of God, may my heart be open to good, may my heart be open to the beauty of God, every day. But I would like to ask a question to all of you: How many of you pray every day to the Holy Spirit? Eh, a few of you I bet, eh! Well, a few, few, a few, but we realize this wish of Jesus, pray every day for the Holy Spirit to open our hearts to Jesus. – Pope Francis
Gospel Text: (JN 16:5-11)
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Now I am going to the one who sent me,
and not one of you asks me, 'Where are you going?'
But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts.
But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go.
For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you.
But if I go, I will send him to you.
And when he comes he will convict the world
in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation:
sin, because they do not believe in me;
righteousness, because I am going to the Father
and you will no longer see me;
condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned."
In our gospel, Jesus is starting His good-bye. The apostles understandably are grieving – they are going to lose Him again. They cannot yet see the whole picture and how this story must unfold. Perhaps they are fearful of how all of this will turn out. There is a bravado when He is around – they have more confidence about what the future can be. But now . . . they are confused again, the fears return. When I read of the apostles, I am always reminded how much they are like us in so many ways. They want to believe, they want to do the right thing but they have fears and doubts. They have human characteristics just like us – pride, stubbornness, and the list goes on. Jesus understood this and sent the Advocate. The Holy Spirit would soon descend upon them and strengthen them in unbelievable ways providing them skills beyond their understanding and courage to go forward and change the world. There is another way we are like the apostles, we, too, have the Holy Spirit with us – not the dramatic tongues of fire – but with us if we pray and believe it. We, too, can be strong in ways we don’t fully understand.