By Devin Watkins
Taking his cue from the Gospel for the 6th Sunday of Easter (John 14:23-29), Pope Francis says Jesus promised never to leave the Apostles alone, as he prepared to face his Passion and the Cross.
“The Paraclete, the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name – he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you,” were the words of that promise, the Pope said.
The term “Paraclete” – in the original Greek – means “one who stands beside another, in order to support and console."
Holy Spirit reminds us of Jesus’ teachings
In this way, the Pope said, Jesus continues to instruct and animate his disciples through the action of the Paraclete, who helps us in our mission of proclaiming the Gospel throughout the world.
The Holy Spirit does not add anything to divine Revelation, said Pope Francis, because “Jesus had already transmitted all that he wanted to entrust to the Apostles.”
“The Holy Spirit’s task is to make people remember, in other words, to make them fully understand and encourage them to concretely implement the teachings of Jesus.”
Paraclete guides Church’s mission
Pope Francis said this is also the Church’s mission, which she carries out through a precise way of life.
It is characterized, he said, by “faith in the Lord and the observance of his Word; docility to the action of the Spirit, who continually makes the Risen Lord alive and present; the acceptance of his peace and the witness we bear to him through an attitude of openness and encounter with others.”
He said the Church cannot remain stationary but relies on the active participation of each baptized person.
We are called, said Pope Francis, to free ourselves from our views, strategies, and objectives which often impede the journey of faith, and to listen with docility to the Word of God.
“It is the Spirit of God who guides us and guides the Church, so that her authentic face, beautiful and luminous, willed by Christ, may shine forth.”
Follow Mary’s example
Finally, Pope Francis invited the faithful to ask the Virgin Mary to protect the Church and all humanity, especially during the month of May, when we pray to Our Lady with special devotion.
“May she, who with humble and courageous faith cooperated fully with the Holy Spirit in the Incarnation of the Son of God, also help us to let ourselves be instructed and guided by the Paraclete, so that we can accept the Word of God and bear witness to it with our lives.”