Gospel Reflection — John 16:5-11
If you’re anything like me, there’s times when you wish that after Jesus rose from the dead, He had decided to stick around, walking among us. That way we could meet with Him face to face and ask the questions we’ve always wanted to ask, and be able to hear His answers in plain speech. Wouldn’t that just be grand? The Apostles had the same desire. They didn’t want Jesus to leave! After all, wouldn’t this world be in much better shape if Jesus had stuck around?
Jesus gives us His response in today’s Gospel. “It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” I don’t think we take enough time to truly appreciate and recognize what it is that Jesus is saying here. It was necessary that Jesus would leave, because He wanted to send us something greater. Now just think about that for a second. Why couldn’t Jesus have simply remained with us, and sent the Holy Spirit? Why was it necessary for Him to leave for the Holy Spirit to come? How on earth is this a better outcome? The answer is Pentecost.
The Holy Spirit is sent to complete God’s work in us. While Jesus takes on human flesh and becomes one of us, the Holy Spirit enters into humanity to become one in us. I think it is worthy of silent reflection to bask in the awe that God has united Himself to us in this way. We have the Holy Spirit in us, and He shares with us His gifts, His power, His life! That is most definitely to our advantage! No longer are we children of darkness and sin, but the Holy Spirit has transformed us into children of God. Let us therefore praise and thank the Lord this day for so great a gift, that not only did Jesus die for us and rise again, but that the Holy Spirit lives in and is united to you and me.