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You Have an Advocate!
5/16/22 Gospel Reflection
Today’s Gospel passage from John is part of what biblical scholars refer to as Jesus’ first farewell discourse (vv. 13:31-16:33). The passage for today (vv. 14:21-26), which is only a portion of the greater discourse, revisits Jesus’ commandment on love as He is preparing His disciples for the reality of life without Him being physically present with them.
How does the author of John portray Jesus’ rhetoric in today’s discourse and throughout the Gospel of John? Let’s take a look:
Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him, “Master, [then] what happened that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
Jesus, as he does throughout the Gospel of John, continues to speak in legal terms and phrases of the Greco-Roman culture. Jesus’ relationship to the Father is shaped by that of the sender and envoy—Jesus is the Father’s perfect envoy. How the ancient world understood this legal reality is that the envoy embodied everything of the sender in their mission. So, however the envoy is received, treated, or whatever action is done to the envoy is understood as done to the sender.
There is something deeper going on with this passage because it is Trinitarian, as it mentions the Holy Spirit. Jesus tells His disciples in preparation for His departure, “I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, 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.”
Again, the author of John’s gospel is using legal terminology by using the word “paraclete.” John’s authorial audience is reflected by this use of the term because “paraclete” refers to the legal function of an advocate, which receives its source from God in terms of prophecy, teaching, and revelation. Scott M. Lewis writes in reference to this passage, “It is clear that John’s community is a Spirit-filled community in which teaching and revelation are continuous.”
So, I ask all of our readers to reflect on their faith communities by spending some time with this passage today and reflect in prayer, asking yourself and God, “Do I live my faith Spirit-filled?” “Do I make others aware of the power of the Holy Spirit by virtue of their Confirmation? “What is my relationship with the Holy Spirit?” “Am I asking daily for the help to live a life of holiness?”
”Do I live as if the Holy Spirit is real?”
 New American Bible, Revised Edition. (Washington, DC: The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2011), Jn 14:22–23.
 New American Bible, Revised Edition. (Washington, DC: The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2011), Jn 14:25–26.
 Scott M. Lewis, “The Gospel according to John,” in New Testament, ed. Daniel Durken, The New Collegeville Bible Commentary (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2009), 349.