Advocates in the world
By Alvin Peters
JOHN 14:15–16, 23–26
This Sunday we celebrate Pentecost, the beginning of the Church. For more than two millennia, the faithful have carried out the commandments of Our Lord to love one another and to spread the Good News. Every single day as we carry out this difficult yet momentous task, the Father has provided us with an Advocate, the Holy Spirit, to be with us.
But what is an advocate? According to one definition: it is a person who puts a case on someone else’s behalf. The Holy Spirit, especially during times of trouble, is here to comfort us, to help us, to teach us and to inspire us to act.
The Holy Spirit also gives us the gifts we need to serve the Lord and His people in different ways. In other words, He will put a case to the Father on our behalf so that we can accomplish His will.
The Spirit will not remove the trials we face but help us to overcome them so we can find ourselves closer and closer in God’s love.
So how do we make ourselves more open to what the Holy Spirit wants us to do? How can we hear Him during times of fear, worry and doubt?
By developing ourselves spiritually through prayer, the Mass, frequent confession and reading scripture. We become less of ourselves as individuals and more like servants of God’s will.
For those of us who are beginners or are on a path of rediscovery, there will be trial and error as we figure out what the Sprit wants us to do, but the riches of the Church will not fail us. At times things might seem empty or slow or clumsy. Remember, our Advocate will speak for us when the words or the will falter. Have faith and be determined to make it work.
Many of us hope to live in a world filled with peace, free from disease, poverty, crime, and sadness. If this is what we wish, then we all must act. We must be smaller advocates within the infinite one of love.
The Holy Spirit will teach us how to work together patiently, faithfully, and lovingly in this broken world to bring God’s Kingdom closer and closer. In all our thoughts and actions, we must ask the Spirit to be driven by Him and our goals centred solely on His will.
Remember, being a Christian is not just a ‘church people’ thing, it is a ‘church in the world thing’. We must not only be advocates for those of our faith but also those who are struggling with the faith, left the faith, of a different faith or no faith at all.
Jesus and His Father want to make their home in all of us. Let us strive to make beautiful homes not just for ourselves but also for each other.
When we see the problems and challenges of the world and the Church, it may seem that the Spirit has receded. Don’t fear. The fire has not been extinguished; the wind has not lost its gust.
Remember, the Apostles and other members of the early Church faced great trials. Let us seek inspiration from scripture about their challenges as we seek solace and courage from the Advocate.
The Church is also rich in stories of the saints. Let us read about how the Spirit influenced their lives and pray that He will sanctify us and teach us how to live as Jesus taught us.
The Holy Spirit, the Advocate, is within us. It is waiting for you and me to recognise its divine presence. Let us not be worried. Let us joyously sing a happy birthday to our Church and recommit and renew ourselves into being in a greater union with Him.
He will bring comfort, courage, and wisdom to us all. Let us as smaller advocates share those same gifts with each other. There is still a lot of work to be done.
Holy Spirit, be our Advocate. Speak for us when the words and will fail us. Inspire us every day to love and serve You and Your Church. We pray that we may also be advocates in our homes, places of work, our community, and our nation. May we not lose our fire, our zeal to serve those who are in need and to participate in the development of a free and just world that You have planned for us. Amen.
The gospel meditations for June are by Alvin Peters, a Catholic primary school teacher and a member of the Cathedral/Sacred Heart Parish.