Jesus said to his disciples:
“Now I am going to the one who sent me,
and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’
But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts.
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.
And when he comes he will convict the world
in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation:
sin, because they do not believe in me;
righteousness, because I am going to the Father
and you will no longer see me;
condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.”–John 16:5-11
When I read scripture, I often try to put myself in the place of the disciples. I wonder how I would reacts in a particular situation. I have the benefit of looking back and asking the disciples “How did you not see that?” To do that is to miss the point in my opinion. They walked, talked, and ate with Christ. They were friends and went with him wherever he went. At this point in Jesus’s ministry he was telling them that he had to leave, and this was a terrifying prospect for them.
What I find interesting is that not one disciple inquires as to where Jesus is going. They were so terrified at the though of not living with Jesus that they couldn’t gather the courage to ask. As I put myself in their shoes I don’t blame them. I would be terrified as well. Especially after all the bad things that Christ said would happen to those who believe in them. However, that was not the case and he was looking out for them as he does with us.
The Holy Spirit, the advocate, had to come to empower the disciples. In today’s passage we see the disciples as being scared, but when the Holy Spirit comes they boldly proclaim the Gospel, preserve the truth, and helps them teach the ways of God. The Holy Spirit also convicts the world of its sin, and is acts in the defense of the disciples.
Like the disciples we may be afraid and think that Christ has left us. The Holy Spirit is present and working among us even if we don’t realize it. The Holy Spirit works in the Church and through us today. Through scripture and sacred Tradition the Spirit is working for the ultimate good of all of us. Are we open to the Holy Spirit prompting us to action? Are we open to the Holy Spirit telling us that we are doing something wrong? What is the Holy Spirit telling you to do today?
O Holy Spirit, descend plentifully into my heart. Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling and scatter there Thy cheerful beams. –Saint Augustine