Monday 11 May 2020

Fifth week of Easter

Word for today
The Gospel of John 14:21-26

Paràkletos

When hunger calls, is it better to eat a rice dish or swallow a recipe?  Is it better to lighten a dark room with a candle or with the picture of a candle?
On a cold winter evening, is it better to keep warm near the fireplace or near the picture of a fireplace?
Mankind has forgotten that in the absence of the Spirit, when the Spirit and spiritual dimension are neglected, reality entirely loses its meaning, becomes an empty icon, an inconsistent image, an empty memory of reality and everything loses its vital effectiveness and beauty, its essential meaning. A great state of fear, ignorance, laziness, emptiness, malaise and confusion arise from this terrible oversight and forgetfulness. Man tends to forget this fact: without the dimension of the Spirit everything is nothing, everything is useless and nothing remains. That is why Jesus says that the Holy Spirit will teach you everything and remind you of all that I have told you, because it is the duty of the Holy Spirit to awaken our hearts and to transform darkness into shining awareness.
That is precisely the task of the Holy Spirit: to suggest to man’s heart, night and day and throughout history Jesus’ procedures by desperately and continuously invoking Him. St. Paul wrote in Galatians 4.6: God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father”!
Reminding by the Holy Spirit does not mean making us remember a forgotten fact, which is something that would inevitably separate us from the present; according to the Scriptures, it is rather a way to live over again a forgotten fact in the light of a new meaning that was already present but previously misunderstood. Only the Holy Spirit can bring enlightenment, and each enlightenment-inspiration is just remembering all that Jesus has already blown inside each of us. In this sense we are never, not even for a moment, alone within us. The Holy Spirit is within us, always inspiring us, making us remember and revive, awaken and heal. The remembering of the mind is related to the remembering of the Holy Spirit, just as the picture of a cherry tree reminds us of the time we were sitting in a branch of a cherry tree with our hands and mouth full of cherries. In this sense, the name suggested by Jesus to invoke the Holy Spirit is not only strikingly new, but a magnificent forerunner: Paraclete.
The term Paràkletos comes from the Greek verb parakalèo - composed by the intenseive particle parà, "at" and the verb kalèo, "I call, I invite" - meaning "I ask, pray, console, admonish, advocate, comfort." Paràkletos is someone who helps in court, is the advocate, the helper, the intercessor, the lawyer, the defender, the adjutant, and at the same time it is “the one who invites besides himself” to console. Paraclete is therefore the one who comforts and defends. The Holy Spirit is the Paraclete, the Comforter and Defender all at the same time. The term Paràkletos, Counselor-defender, originates from a forensic environment. In the Jewish courts there was a figure unknown to us in modern times: when judgment was about to be pronounced, there was at times a man with a good reputation who silently moved closer to  the defendant: he was simply called the Paraclete, comforter-defender. His silent presence was meant  to confuse the accusers.
Nothing and no one confuses and silences the accuser (Revelation 12.10), the devil, as does the gracious presence and mighty wind of the Spirit that always and unfailingly comforts and protects God's children.