John 14.15-21 Jesus said, ”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 forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.”
”I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”
Reflection At twelve years old I attended the funeral of the person I loved the most in the world. When I looked into the coffin and touched his cold hand there was one thing I absolutely knew, “Grampa is not here” in this strange waxy body and shiny mahogany box… “but somehow he is still here.” That’s what I told my mother. She shook her head and said, “Your grandfather is dead.”
I believe my little girl self somehow knew the Spirit of Truth whom my mother could not receive. Later that day when the adults were drinking manhattans and telling stories of Grampa’s life I took cover in my room and found comfort in knowing my Grampa was with me even if “the world could no longer see him.”
Many years passed before I found my way to John’s gospel text, “”I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me… ” With those words I understood that my Grandfather had to leave me, but he did not leave me orphaned because he opened for me the way of being in relationship with something more which in theological terms we call the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth. By his death my grandfather gave to me the gift of life in and of and with the Spirit, the second Advocate.
Here is the thing. Jesus does not promise the disciples and us that when we die we will ascend to a cherub strewn utopia of mythic proportions. Rather, Jesus offers us the opportunity to participate in the eternal life of Spirit with us right here, right now, on earth. Our purpose is not to stumble through life scrupulously sidestepping as many sins as possible in order to accrue enough points to trade our way into happily ever-after life. Our purpose is to receive and make visible the Presence of the Spirit of Truth with us, right now.
Jesus is our first Advocate. He goes to the father as paraklaytos, an advocate to plead our case to God and he says, “… I will ask the father, and (God) will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth…” The second Advocate is the Spirit of Truth given to aid, assist and counsel us “to lead us to a deeper knowledge of gospel truth and give us the divine strength needed to undergo trials and persecutions on behalf of the kingdom (of God right here, right now on earth).” (Strong’s G3875) The Spirit of Truth or the second Advocate is that which imbues us with the knowledge of God and the capacity to act in accord with that knowledge. But it does not stop there.
As people of God we are the third wave of Advocates who by grace are imbued with the Spirit of Truth and the capacity to pass it on. May the Force, the Spirit of Truth, be with you!
If you found this post to be meaningful please share by clicking on icons below. Thank you.