In the first reading from the Act of the Apostles, we read that disciples remained closed in one room… maybe because they were afraid of Jews or they were not yet ready to witness Jesus. Only when the Holy Spirit descends on them in the form of flames, all become involved, with the common goal, to bear the testimony of Jesus.
Sometimes, in our life, we experience very similar situations, when we live in fear or we lack confidence, or we simply want to protect ourselves when others make fun of us or they hurt us. We remain closed behind the door of our ‘own world’. And we need the help of the Holy Spirit, we need to rekindle His flame of courage in our hearts.
The Gospel, the Good News, brings us today a message that gives us hope and joy. Jesus assures his disciples, and so us, that the Holy Spirit will come and He calls him the Paraclete. In seven verses of today’s Gospel, we find two times the term, the Paraclete (Jn 15:26; 16:7) and two times the term, the Spirit of the Truth (Jn 15:26; 16:13).
Paraclete: in Greek, parà-kaleo means to call close/to call near. It was the term used by the lawyers of that time. The person who was accused could have hired a lawyer who, however, did not answer in his place, but came close to him, suggesting in his ear what to say.
Spirit of Truth: the Greek word for truth is alḗtheia which literally means to reveal something hidden. In the language of the Old Testament, truth indicates fidelity, God’s love, his salvation.
The Holy Spirit is the one who is close to us, indeed, in our hearts, and suggests the truth to us, directs us towards the true good and love. He should be the breath of life of every Missionary Sister, as expressed by Blessed Mother Josepha. Only when he will really be close to us, we will be able, as disciples after Pentecost, to bear witness to our faith with love and courage and to announce to the world His joyful message of love and peace.
Virgin Mary, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, was the first to receive the special gift of the Spirit which made her become the mother of Christ. Let us ask her to help us to pronounce our Here I am, I am the Servant of the Lord, so as not to extinguish the flame of love that God has placed inside each one of us, but on the contrary, especially on this Pentecost, rekindle it together within ourselves and all our brothers and sisters.
Wish you all a very blessed Pentecost!
Sr. Katarina Pavelova, SSpS