The Gospel according to 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.”
Today’s Gospel, to me, highlights the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus knew it, and when we look back at nearly 2,000 years of history since, we see just how true Jesus’ knowledge was! He knew that His closest followers needed more than just His own physical presence with them, if the “Way” was to be more than just a short-lived fad. He knew that those Apostles and early disciples needed to be able to stand on their own two feet without Jesus being physically with them as He was.
The image that popped into my brain when I thought of that fact was that of all of us who are or have been parents. God gives us our children for us as their moms and dads to first of all, love them totally. Then, He asks us to teach these little ones about the faith and the wonder that is our loving Creator. And finally, He directs us to teach them such that they can stand on their own and carry the faith we taught them as their own.
I can tell you that series of steps is absolutely impossible without the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who whispers to us to guide these young lives along the way. I’ll say two things about that last bit – first, it does not guarantee that we will actually heed those whispers and do what the Spirit is asking, and second, it does not guarantee that our young ones will actually listen to us and do what we tell them. But, the Holy Spirit is there for us in those cases, comforting us that our part is to share Jesus and His love and His heart for others with our children, and then leave the results up to God. That last bit requires trust, doesn’t it?
That’s just what was going on in today’s Gospel on the night of the Last Supper. Jesus was asking His closest friends to trust, and to leave the results up to His Father. May each of us try to do that every day of our lives!
Action for the Day:
Today, ask God to help you, should the opportunity arise, to try to share His love and wisdom with someone, and then stand back and leave the results to God. And, if you see the blessings that come from that, be sure to give thanks to God for that, too!
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