Parakletos – Our Defender and Comforter In The World

Missionary Weekly Reflection
Easter Week VI, 17 May 2020
Acts 8:5-8,14-17; Ps. 66:1-3a,4-5,6-7a,16,20; 1Pet. 3:15-18; Joh. 14:15-21

The teacher who is about to leave would like to comfort His disciples. His presence is not necessary physical, but also spiritual. He is present if they keep on having the love relationship with Him. Today’s Gospel is framed with this theme (‘inclusio’ technique). At the beginning, Jesus said: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (v. 15) and at the end: “Whoever holds to my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves me” (v. 21). To love Jesus means to obey His commandments. Love and commandment: “strange” combo package! Aren’t these two things always opposed? People say that love must be free, without force. Jesus, on the other hand, repeatedly emphasizes the close ties of both. He wants to emphasize that: Love is not just emotion and affection, but it’s about commitment and action. Love is a verb: there is a strong inner will and struggle to remain faithful to His love commandments and words. True love is made real in the struggle of carrying the cross daily, in the “world” that is not always friendly. So, eventhough He has left, the disciples still have love relationship with Him if they continue to carry out His word!

Jesus also promises “another Helper”. It is the Holy Spirit, which is a new form of Jesus’ presence among His disciples. The Parakletos is like an advocate: a friend who accompanies, advises and especially defends Jesus followers before the “world”. He is the Spirit of Truth because He will reveal the whole secret/mystery of the Father to the disciples of Jesus. He is the Helper for the disciples in dealing with this world. By which way? First, by reminding the disciples of all the messages and words of Jesus (14:26). Second, by giving testimony about Jesus to the world (15:26). Third, by making the world realize of their sin, truth and God’s judgment (16: 8-11).

The Holy Spirit, the Helper, ensures that Jesus is always present among His disciples until today. We are never left alone. Even though His death caused Jesus physically separated from us, we are spiritually empowered by Him. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus is always ready to help us when we need His help, advice, and assistance. More than that, the Helper even dwells in us and leads us to the full truth, which is God himself. That is the proof that Jesus loves us. The experience of Jesus’ love can only be achieved by following and obeying His commandments and words.

It is interesting that Jesus promised the Helper to the disciples as a group. It’s very easy for me to forget the communal aspect. I often want to monopolize the Holy Spirit as my own property. I even want to ‘drive’ the Holy Spirit according to my personal ambitions. I am proud of His gift and guidance as my own spiritual achievement. Today I am aware that the Helper is present in me and you as a Church. He is the one who enables, defends, accompanies, and comforts us in facing the “world”.

(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)

DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER

Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.

Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:

For Evangelization intention:
Loyalty of the deacons: May the deacons, with their loyalty to the service of God’s words and the poor, become the symbol of an inspiring Church and arouse the spirit of the people. We pray…

For Indonesian Churches intention:
Mary, Mother of Perseverance: May, in the midst of confusion and uncertainty, the Catholics are willing to emulate the Virgin Mary as the Mother of Perseverance. We pray…

Special Intention:
Mother Mary is with us, to be united with The Son in creating the justice for our people. We pray…

Amen

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