Acts 8:5-8, 14-17
1 Pt 3:15-18
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When our Lord promises in today’s Gospel passage, “I will come to you,” he is referring to the presence of his Holy Spirit, who does not bring a new divinity or a new Gospel, but rather precisely the presence of Jesus Christ. The Lord’s constant promise of “life” comes to fulfillment with the outpouring of the Spirit of Life; therefore Jesus can say, “I live and you will live.”
The preaching of this weekend, therefore, can focus on the relationship between Easter and the approaching Feasts of Ascension and Pentecost. The victory of Christ over death is shared with all his people: He brings our humanity to the heights of heaven and pours out his life-giving Spirit.
The truth brought out in today’s passage regarding the “Advocate” is also crucial to the Church’s role in building the Culture of Life. Jesus Christ himself is our first Advocate (see 1 John 2:1 – “If anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one”). Now, that Advocate is promising us “Another Advocate” who will be with us always – the Holy Spirit. Indeed, the Spirit advocates for us in the heights of heaven, that all the power of the redemptive work of Christ might have its full effect.
But if the Spirit, who is an Advocate, fills us, he makes us advocates! He gives speech to the tongue, as we will see even more powerfully at Pentecost. He makes us advocates for the helpless, just as he advocates for us when we cannot save ourselves. The pro-life work of the People of God springs from this aspect of the Holy Spirit, who makes us advocates for those who cannot speak for themselves – the unborn and all the vulnerable.