(A commentary on John 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.” (John 16:5-11)
The sadness of the disciples is real on this evening. Jesus seeks to comfort them with telling them of his gift – the gift of the Holy Spirit.
He tells them first of the reality of that gift. It cannot be given to them unless he ascends to his father. For It is through the Spirit of Jesus, the risen and ascended Jesus, that he can continue to be with his people at all times and in any place on earth. Yes, it is better that Jesus should go and come back through the Spirit.
That is where so many seem to miss the causal link. The Holy Spirit is Jesus Christ. It is the very breath of God that resides in each of us.
That is why Jesus tells the disciples and us that it was good that he left us because in comparison with the gift of His presence, the gift of the Holy Spirit’s presence in our life is more important. That’s how crucial the Holy Spirit is meant to be in our life as disciples and apostles.
The original word for convince also means to convict. The Holy Spirit works in each of us to make us realize that, as citizens of the world, we succumb too often to the ways of the world and act in sinful ways. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to lead us away from the error of our ways and to show us the way of love and truth.
The Spirit convinces us of God’s love and forgiveness and of our utter dependence on God for his mercy and grace.
Humankind seems often to refuse to open its mind to the vision of life that Jesus gives. The Spirit reveals the meaning of Christ’s death as the condemnation of all that is evil in the world, above all in its denial of love as the center of living.
That is why each of us needs to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in us. Yes, he is our paraclete, our advisor. We can listen to the Spirit in silence or in activity as long as we are open and focused.
Those pricks of conscience are real. It is the Holy Spirit cautioning us, reminding us and letting us know that we each of us is a portal of God.
When we yield to the Spirit, the Spirit will lead us to love. Love of God, love of each other and love of all that reflects the beauty and the peace of God our Father.
If you don’t feel the Spirit within, then ask for the Spirit to take priority of your life. He will come because he is already there, waiting for you to say the words “Come, Holy Spirit.”
Words that can change your life if you will let them.
Prayer of The Day
“Come Holy Spirit, and let the fire of your love burn in my heart. Let me desire only what is pure, lovely, holy and good and in accord with the will of God and give me the courage to put away all that is not pleasing in your sight.”
It is the work of the Holy Spirit to both convict us of wrongdoing and to convince us of God’s truth. The Spirit convinces us of the righteousness of Christ, backed by the fact that Jesus rose again and went to his Father. The Holy Spirit also convicts us of judgment. The Spirit gives us the inner and unshakable conviction that we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God. God’s judgments are just and good. When we heed his judgments, we find true peace, joy and reconciliation with God. Do you allow the Holy Spirit free reign in your life that he may set you free from the grip of sin and set you ablaze with the fire of God’s love?