6th Easter Tuesday (11 May 2010)
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.
Jesus told his disciples at the Last Supper that the Advocate he would have his Father send in his name was the Spirit of truth. The Advocate would testify to Jesus. Its role was personal because it would help the disciples continue to testify to Jesus.
Today we heard how: about sin, righteousness and condemnation. We appreciate the Spirit’s triple role when we remember its personal function. Jesus promised the Advocate to his disciples then and to us, his disciples today. First, sin.
Sin is not only moral category; it’s one of faith, specifically refusing to come to believe in Jesus. The disciples would hear repeatedly, Don’t put your faith in one who died a criminal and blasphemer’s death. Such a one could not be righteous—except to one of faith, who trusts God despite appearances. That the disiples preached.
Jesus’ death and resurrection did not change their daily struggles. Indeed, the evidence suggests they increased them! Jesus’ death and resurrection did condemn the ruler of this world, the tempter, who lulls humans into believing that only what is seen is real. Jesus’ death and resurrection, eternally memorialized in the Eucharist, strengthens us to believe that the One we cannot see is with us as the most real of all.
Which role of Holy Spirit does the Spirit desire to work in us? While they are interrelated, the fact that Jesus called attention to them individually gives our prayer new purpose: to allow Holy Spirit to refashion us as Jesus' disciples with fresh vigor, in deed as well as in name.