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Friday, May 23, 2014

PARACLETE: The Holy Spirit as Companion


John 14:15-21

          Have you ever felt completely alone? Have you ever experienced the angst and anxiety of nostalgia?
        Because man is a social being, he tends to seek the company of others.  All of us have the basic need to belong  that is why society is formed.  We also cannot deny the fact that under normal circumstances, most of us, if not all, belong to a family which is the most basic unit of society.   Aside from our families, we also experience many forms of belongingness like being a member of clubs, councils, associations, religions, causes, schools, political parties and many others.  It is through these groups that we exercise our inter-relationship with others. In a more special way, we relate emotionally with our significant others like our loved ones.

         One of our greatest fears is to be left alone.  In many ways, we have experienced the pangs of loneliness and the angst of nostalgia.  This is true to a widow or widower who is left alone in the house most especially when the children are gone. This is the feeling of missionaries who miss home in foreign lands which are difficult and hostile; those people in nursing facilities or inmates behind prison bars waiting for a visit from their families; those who lost their loved one for good, and many others.

         God has always been persons-in- relationship hence we call them the Trinity. However Jesus would soon experience what was to be alone in the most horrifying way ever in his moment of abandonment on the cross.  There will never be an experience of aloneness much worse than being abandoned by God and Jesus experienced it himself.   Before he died, Jesus knew the anticipated feeling of his disciples of being abandoned in the world without him.  Not wanting them to experience the abandonment he would soon experience on the cross, he promised them the Paraclete who was the Holy Spirit.

         “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you” was the assurance of Jesus to his disciples and to us.  He knew the feeling of being orphaned by God when man sins and chooses death: “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”  He experienced that on the cross on behalf of those reject God in their lives.  To be cut away from God is the worst loneliness ever which we may call hell.  Hell is the total absence of God.   For a moment Jesus experienced it on the cross and in his death as it is expressed in our creed: “He descended into hell.” 

         After his worst aloneness, Jesus would not let us experience the same so he sent the Holy Spirit to us; “He dwells with you and will be in you.”   Even in in our physical aloneness, we are never alone; we will never be separated from God because of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us.   It was the Holy Spirit that was given on Calvary by Jesus to the Church after he died; the same Holy Spirit that was given together with the different charisms on Pentecost; the same Holy Spirit that was given to us when we received the Sacrament of Confirmation.

         With the presence of the Holy Spirit in the world, in the Church and in our lives, we will never be separated from God; we will never be alone!   The Paraclete was promised by Jesus before he died and was given as a gift after the Resurrection. 


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