Sixth Sunday of Easter (José Antonio Pagola)

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The Spirit of truth

Jesus is bidding his disciples farewell.  He sees them sad and broken.  Soon they will not have him with them.  Who can fill their emptiness?  Until now he has been the one taking care of them, defending them from the scribes and Pharisees, sustaining their weak and faltering faith, uncovering for them God’s truth, and initiating them into God’s humanizing project.

Jesus speaks to them passionately about the Spirit.  He does not want to leave them orphans.  He himself will ask the Father not to abandon them, but to give them “another advocate to be with them always.”  Jesus calls him “the Spirit of truth.”  What is hidden behind these words of Jesus?

This “Spirit of truth” must not be mistaken for doctrine.  One cannot look for this truth in theologians’ books or in the documents of the hierarchy.  It is something much more profound.  Jesus says that this Spirit remains in us and will be with us.  He is life-breath, power, light, love … that reaches us from God’s ultimate mystery.  We must welcome this Spirit with a simple and trusting heart.

This “Spirit of truth” does not turn us into “owners” of the truth.  He does not come so that we impose our faith on others, or control their orthodoxy.  He comes so that we may not be left orphans of Jesus, and he invites us to be open to his truth by listening, welcoming and living his Gospel.

Nor does this “Spirit of truth” make us “guardians” of the truth, but rather witnesses.  Our task is not to argue with, oppose or defeat adversaries, but to live the truth of the Gospel and to love Jesus by keeping his commandments.

This “Spirit of truth” is within each one of us, defending us from all that can separate us from Jesus.  The Spirit invites us to open ourselves with simplicity to the mystery of a God who is the Friend of life.  Whoever seeks this God with honesty and truth is not far from him.  Jesus said on one occasion: “Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”  It is true.

This “Spirit of truth” invites us to live in the truth of Jesus in the midst of a society where all too often lies are called strategy, exploitation business, irresponsibility tolerance, injustice established order, arbitrariness freedom, lack of respect sincerity….

What sense could Jesus’ Church have if we let our communities lose this “Spirit of truth”?  Who can save it from self-deception, from going astray, from common mediocrity?  Who will announce the Good News of Jesus in a society that is so much need of encouragement and hope?

José Antonio Pagola

May 25, 2014
6 Easter (A)
John 14, 15-21

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