“On that day you will ask in my name, and I do not tell you that I will ask the Father for you. For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have come to believe that I came from God.” ( JN 16: 27)
Whatever Our Lord did or said, it was about God the Father and how much He loves us. Now Jesus is leaving us and going back to His Father. He reminds us what’s the most important thing—that we are loved: “for the Father himself loves you” and that we do not need a mediator: “I do not tell you that I will ask the Father for you“ because “on that day you will ask in my name.”
“I came from the Father and have come into the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Do not be afraid. Go on speaking, and do not be silent, for I am with you. No one will attack and harm you, for I have many people in this city.” (ACTS 18: 9-10)
The main message of Our Lord is: “Do not be afraid” because “I am with you.” His presence and grace helps us in speaking, traveling, preaching, teaching, serving and doing so many things because of “many people in the city.” His presence protects and His presence encourages. We are loved and we love Him.
“Christ had to suffer and to rise from the dead, and so enter into his glory.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming.” (JN 16: 13)
As children of God, we also grow. In this process we need help; we need Somebody who “will guide us to all truth.” “The Spirit of truth” knows perfectly the Father and the Son, so “He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears.” We are never alone and never abandoned because “another Advocate is with us always.”
“I will ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“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.” (JN 16: 7)
The time of the Holy Spirit is coming: “I will send him to you.” The Holy Spirit will replace Our Lord: “for if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you.” And even if we do not see it clearly, “it is better for us that Our Lord go” because the Spirit of truth “will guide us to all truth.”
“I will send to you the Spirit of truth, says the Lord; he will guide you to all truth.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“On the sabbath we went outside the city gate along the river where we thought there would be a place of prayer. We sat and spoke with the women who had gathered there.” (ACTS 16: 13)
Have you ever thought about how many places you pray? We pray in churches, at homes, in cars, planes, buses and trains. “A place of prayer” could be also “along the river” or at a camping spot at the lake and many other places. Our Lord wants to be with us in every place, and there is no place where we are not loved.
“The Spirit of truth will testify to me, says the Lord, and you also will testify.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who went down and prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for it had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.” (ACTS 8: 14-17)
The Holy Spirit is received by a very personal gesture: “they laid hands on them.” Samarians “had accepted the word of God”; they “had been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus,” but they needed the Apostles’ prayer “that they might receive the Holy Spirit.” We received the Holy Spirit when a bishop put his hands on us. The Tradition continues.
“Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord, and my Father will love him and we will come to him.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“They traveled through the Phrygian and Galatian territory because they had been prevented by the Holy Spirit from preaching the message in the province of Asia. When they came to Mysia, they tried to go on into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them, so they crossed through Mysia and came down to Troas.” (ACTS 16: 6-7)
Like it was promised by Our Lord, He didn’t leave the Apostles alone—the Holy Spirit, the “Spirit of Jesus” leads them, instructs them and protects them. When we are on our missions or when we are sent, we can always expect the assistance of the Holy Spirit.
“If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another.” (JN 15: 15-17)
Our Lord called us friends, “because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.” And we can summarize the words of the Father to the most important: “love one another.” This is the “fruit that will remain,” what He expects from us; this is why we are “appointed to go,” and why “He chose us.”
“I call you my friends, says the Lord, for I have made known to you all that the Father has told me.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete.” (JN 15: 9-11)
We can’t be happy having objects (even the most prestigious); we can’t be happy having people or positions, and we can’t be happy being self-sufficient. The only way for us to be happy is to be related and especially in relationship with God, our Creator and Redeemer, our Father who art in Heaven and loves us so much. Our Lord’s joy is to be united with us: “that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete.” When we keep Our Lord’s commandments, we “will remain in His love, “just as He kept His Father’s commandments and remain in his love.” Without love and without being in relationship with God, we are not complete.
“My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.” (JN 15: 4-5)
Our Lord reminds us that “whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit.” Our evangelization is based not on action firstly, but on relationship. Whoever remains in Him is like a branch connected with a vine, “because without Him we can do nothing.” He is our Creator and Redeemer; He chose us and sent us to bring fruits, and only those who remain “in Him will bear much fruit.”
“Remain in me, as I remain in you, says the Lord; whoever remains in me will bear much fruit.” (Gospel Acclamation)