Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Spirit of Truth

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
May 25, 2014

John 14: 15-21

Jesus is saying goodbye to his disciples. They look sad and dejected to him. Soon they won't have him with them. Who could fill his space? So far he's been the one who has taken care of them, defended them from the scribes and Pharisees, sustained their weak and wavering faith, showed them God's truth and initiated them in his humanizing project.

Jesus talks to them passionately about the Spirit. He doesn't want to leave them orphaned. He himself will ask the Father not to abandon them, to give them "another advocate" to "always be with them." Jesus calls it "the Spirit of truth." What is hidden in Jesus' words?

This "Spirit of truth" must not be confused with a doctrine. You don't have to seek this truth in the theologians' books or the documents of the hierarchy. It's something much deeper. Jesus says it "lives with us and is in us." It's breath, strength, light, love...that comes to us from the ultimate mystery of God. We are to welcome it with simple trusting hearts.

This "Spirit of truth" doesn't turn us into "owners" of the truth. It doesn't come so that we might impose our faith on others or monitor their orthodoxy. It comes so that we aren't left as orphans of Jesus, and it invites us to be open to his truth, listening, accepting, and living out his Gospel.

Neither does this "Spirit of truth" make us "guardians" of the truth, but rather witnesses to it. Our duty is not to argue with, fight, or defeat adversaries, but to live the truth of the Gospel and "love Jesus by keeping his commandments."

This "Spirit of truth" is inside each one of us, defending us from all that could separate us from Jesus. It invites us to simply be open to the mystery of a God who is Friend of life. Whoever seeks this God honestly and in truth is not far from Him. Jesus once said, "Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice." It's true.

This "Spirit of truth" invites us to live in Jesus' truth amid a society where lying is often called "strategy", exploitation "business", irresponsibility "tolerance", injustice "the established order", arbitrariness "freedom", lack of respect "sincerity"...

What meaning can the Church of Jesus have if we let the "Spirit of truth" be lost in our communities? Who will be able to save it from self-deception, deviations, and widespread mediocrity? Who will proclaim the Good News of Jesus in a society so much in need of hope and encouragement?

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