Our Great Advocate
“… the Holy Spirit … will … remind you of all that I told you.”
Once when I was learning a new job, the sister who was teaching me said about a certain task, “Don’t worry. If you forget how to do this, you can ask so-and-so.” And about something else, “It’s all right if you forget to do that. So-and-so will remind you.” It was a relief to know that others would back me up, that I didn’t have to do it all on my own, and that I wouldn’t ruin everything if I forgot a detail.
Before Jesus leaves his disciples to return to the Father, he reassures them in a similar way. He’s taught them many things, and here at this Last Supper especially, he has said a lot. Their hearts and minds can hardly contain it all. But they don’t need to be anxious about it. The Holy Spirit will remind them of whatever they need to remember, and will help them learn and apply whatever Jesus has not explained.
This reassures and consoles us, too. We don’t need to memorize the Gospels, chapter and verse. We don’t need to figure out on our own what it means to follow Jesus, or what a disciple should do in any given situation. It’s not all on our shoulders. We have the promise of the Holy Spirit.
What is on our shoulders is the duty to be open and to listen so that we hear the Holy Spirit’s reminders. We need to ask for assistance when we’re not clear about what to do, or how Jesus would want us to act. Praying with the word of God, praying for guidance, turning to ask the Holy Spirit’s light, discerning God’s will in a certain situation—all these are what we need to do. Then the Holy Spirit will remind us of all that Jesus has told us.
Jesus, thank you for the gift of your Holy Spirit. Help me trust that I will receive the help I need, when I need it, and then remind me to ask for that help and not rely completely on my own memory and judgment. I place in your hands, right now, all my concerns about the future and about current situations that are not yet clear to me. Send your Holy Spirit to remind me and teach me all I need to know.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled” (Jn 14:1).
Daughters of Saint Paul. (2011). Easter Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections. (M. G. Dateno & M. L. Trouvé, Eds.) (pp. 76–77). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.