I Will Not Leave You Orphans

“I Will Not Leave You Orphans”
A reflection on John 14:15-21
Sixth Sunday of Easter (Year A)
©️2023 by Gloria M. Chang

Jesus said to his disciples: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows him. But you know him, because he remains with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”

John 14:15-21

The Spirit of Truth

As Jesus approached the end of his mission on earth, he prepared his disciples to receive new life from the Spirit. Out of love for his Son, the Father will send the Paraklétos, literally, “he who is called to one’s side,” ad-vocatus. Also translated as Advocate, Consoler, Counselor, Helper, and Intercessor, the Paraclete guides the children of God from within. But the spiritually blind and deaf—“the world”—cannot receive the Spirit of truth.

The Spirit of truth who “unveils” Christ to us “will not speak on his own.” Such properly divine self-effacement explains why “the world cannot receive him, because it neither sees him nor knows him,” while those who believe in Christ know the Spirit because he dwells with them.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 687

The disciples will not be “orphaned” after Jesus’ departure; at the resurrection, they will see him again and rejoice. When the Spirit descends at Pentecost, each will experience in their depths their unity in the Blessed Trinity and the Body of Christ. . Love, proved by obedience to the Son, draws us into union with the Father. 

The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive,
God sends as the Paraclete to all who believe.

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