I will ask the Father and he will give you another comforter to be with you forever. I will not abandon you to your fate: I will come to you. The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send as an advocate in my name, will teach you everything, bringing to mind what I have said to you. Gospel of John, Chapter 14, Verses 16, 18 and 26.
If only we could have shared the experiences of the disciples, following Jesus through the streets of Galilee and the hills of Palestine, during the course of his earthly ministry and met him again as the risen Lord in the days following his resurrection.
Have you ever wondered what that would be like? Do you sometimes feel that, compared to the disciples, we are at a disadvantage, in that we have not seen him face to face, we have not heard his words or witnessed his deeds and miracles.
I suppose that that is true, as far as it goes, Jesus is not physically here beside us, but he is with us nevertheless, in a way much more special, present through his Holy Spirit deep within.
Tragically, that gift of the Holy Spirit has been the subject of so much controversy in the Church, causing suspicion, hostility, bitterness and division, the absolute opposite of what God intended. I wonder why? Maybe, because too much emphasis is placed on the gifts of the Spirit, rather than the GIFT of the Spirit. The result has been that the Holy Spirit is portrayed as being for just a very few Christians rather than the experience of all. Jesus taught ‘I will ask the Father and he will give you another comforter to be with you forever’. That promise is not just for the special few but for everyone. When we acknowledge Christ as Lord and commit ourselves to his way and not ours, the Spirit WILL be with us, making his presence real within.
Yes, we do not get to walk and talk with Jesus quite as his followers did 2,000 years ago but we can know him, nevertheless. Not just by our side but in our heart. What more could we ask for?
God bless you.