By Linda Bordoni
Pope Francis presided over Mass at the Casa Santa Marta on the Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter. During his introduction he said that at this time his thoughts go to the unemployed.
“In these days many people have lost their jobs”, the Pope said, many have not been re-employed, or are working “under the table.”
“We pray for these brothers and sisters of ours who are suffering because of lack of work,” he said.
During the homily, the Pope commented on today’s Gospel (Jn 14:21-26). He said it is the ‘Farewell Discourse’ after the Last Supper in which Jesus reassures His disciples and tells them they will never be left alone.
“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. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me. I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.”
Pope Francis explained this is the promise of the Holy Spirit who dwells with us, and whom the Father and the Son have sent to accompany us in life.
The Holy Spirit never leaves us alone
He said the Holy Spirit “is called the Paraclete – or the Advocate – because He sustains us, He accompanies us so we do not fall,” and explained that “the Lord has promised us this support, who is God.”
“What does the Holy Spirit do in us?” he asked.
The Spirit, he said, teaches us to enter into the mystery of faith, he helps us to understand the mystery, the doctrine of Jesus and to develop our faith without making mistakes.
He went on to explain that doctrine, in fact, “grows in understanding but always in the same direction,” and that the Spirit helps us to understand the mystery more and more.
The Spirit teaches us to grow, to discern, to remember
Our understanding of the mystery “grows as the trees grow: they are always the same but larger, and taller and with more fruit, but at the same time, they are always the same,” he said.
And doctrine, the Pope continued, is not static but grows, noting that it is the Spirit who prevents doctrine from remaining static, and develops in us the understanding of what Jesus taught us.
The Spirit, he continued, also makes us remember what Jesus told us, “He is like memory, He awakens us, He awakens us in the things of the Lord, He helps us remember our own lives,” when we met or left the Lord.
And developing this theme further, Pope Francis said “He brings us to the memory of salvation, the memory of the journey of life. He guides us to discern what we must do now, what is the right way and what is the wrong way.”
The Holy Spirit is the Gift of God
“The Holy Spirit guides us along this path in which there is memory,” he said.
“He helps us to make everyday decisions, big and small. He teaches us everything, He introduces us into mystery, He makes us remember, discern and grow,” he said.
The Pope concluded reassuring the faithful that the Spirit is the “Gift of God” as is proclaimed in the reading from John: “I will not leave you alone, I will send you a Paraclete who will never leave you alone and who will help you discern and grow.”
“May the Lord,” he prayed, “help us to keep this gift that we received in baptism.”