The Gospel according to John 16:5-11
Jesus said to his disciples: "Now I am going to the one who sent me, and not one of you asks me, 'Where are you going?' But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts. But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you...”
All of us have experienced the grief that fills our heart when we say goodbye to someone we love dearly, soon to be separated from us by many miles, oceans, or death. But few of us have experienced being told by that someone precious to us, “It is better for you that I go.”
No one experienced the grief of that forthcoming separation more than his dear mother – He was her precious Son. Painful as it was, I believe she immediately understood what he meant, and was consoled, when he said, “For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you." Our Blessed Mother is the spouse of the Advocate! What an unfathomable mystery!
Jesus had to go in order to send the Holy Spirit. This time the Holy Spirit would come to give birth to the Church (Mary would be present once again for this supernatural conception and birth), and the Holy Spirit would remain with the Church, to teach her everything, and to help her recall all that Jesus had taught her.
Earlier this month we heard in the Gospel reading:
"I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name-- he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you." (John 14:25-26)
Indeed, as much as we would love to have Jesus still walking this earth visibly in the flesh, it is evident that the Holy Spirit had to come and is still present in the Church. It is by faith, and by the constant miracles that bear witness to it, that Jesus also remains with us - body, blood, soul, and divinity - in the humble form of bread and wine.