WE HAVE A DEFENDER
The truth is that we human beings are pretty complex. Each individual is a world of desires and frustrations, ambitions and fears, doubts and questions. Frequently we don’t know who we are or what we want. We don’t know where our life is moving to. Who can teach us to live rightly?
Here aren’t helpful the abstract formulations or theories. It’s not enough to clarify things rationally. It’s insufficient to have before our eyes norms and correct directives. What’s decisive is the art of acting day by day in a positive, healthy and creative manner.
For a Christian, Jesus is always our grand teacher of life. But we no longer have him at our side. That’s why these words of the Gospel take on so much importance: «I shall ask the Father, and he will give you another Defender to be with you forever, the Spirit of truth».
We need someone to remind us of Jesus’ truth. If we forget it, we won’t know who we are or what we are called to be. We get off the track of the Gospel over and over. We end up defending in his name causes and interests that have little to do with him. We will believe ourselves to be in possession of the truth at the very time we go about disfiguring it.
We need the Holy Spirit to activate Jesus’ memory in us, his living presence, his creative imagination. It’s not a matter of waking up a memory of the past: sublime, moving, intimate, but still a memory. What the Spirit of the Risen One does with us is open our heart to a personal encounter with Jesus as someone alive. Only such an affective and heart-felt relationship with Jesus Christ is capable of transforming us and generating in us a new way of being and living.
In the fourth Gospel the Spirit is called «defender» or «paraclete», because the Spirit defends us from what can destroy us. There are many things in life that we don’t know how to defend ourselves from on our own. We need light, strength, sustaining courage. That’s why we call on the Spirit. The Spirit is the best way of putting us in contact with Jesus and being defended from what could lead us away from him.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf