God sends us “Enough” with the Holy Spirit our Consoler
“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate…”
A father and his adult daughter are saying goodbye at the airport. Her flight’s departure has been announced. They hug one last time at the security gate.
The father says, “I love you, honey, and I wish you enough.”
The daughter hugs her dad again and says, “Dad, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Dad.”
They kiss and she boards her flight, waving one last time before disappearing down the ramp.
The father then walks over to the window to watch his daughter’s plane take off. Tears are beginning to stream down his face. Someone sitting nearby walks over to him and asks, “Excuse me sir, I don’t mean to intrude, but are you all right?”
The old man welcomes the company. He brushes away his tears, and responds, “Did you ever say goodbye to someone knowing it would be forever?”
“Yes, I have,” the inquisitor says. “Forgive me for asking, but why is this a ‘forever’ goodbye?“
He responds, “I’m old and my daughter lives far away. It’s getting harder for me, … and the reality is that her next trip home will probably be for my funeral.“
The stranger then asks, “When you were saying goodbye, I heard you say, ‘I wish you enough.’ What did you mean by that?”
The father smiles. “That’s a wish that had been handed down in my family for generations. My parents used to say it to everyone. When we said, ‘I wish you enough’, we wanted the other person to have a life with ‘just enough’ good things to sustain them.”
The old man then puts his hand on the stranger’s shoulder, and reciting the blessing from memory, he says:
“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray and dark the day may appear.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest joy may appear bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all you possess.
And I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final goodbye.”
Today we hear Jesus promising the Holy Spirit. On a number of occasions the Lord promises His Apostles that He will send them the Holy Spirit. Here He tells them that one result of His mediation with the Father will be the coming of the Paraclete. The Holy Spirit in fact does come down on the disciples after our Lord’s ascension to Heaven, sent by the Father and by the Son. In promising here that through Him the Father will send them the Holy Spirit, Jesus is revealing the mystery of the Blessed Trinity.
“Consoler“: this Greek word sometimes anglicized as “paraclete” translates as, “called to be beside one,” or in other words, to accompany, to console, to protect, or to defend. Hence the word is translated as Consoler or Advocate. Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit as “another Consoler“, because the Paraclete will be given them in Christ’s place as Advocate or Defender to help them, since Jesus is going to ascend to heaven.
It’s now the role of the Holy Spirit to guide, to protect and to vivify the Church, for there are, as we know, two factors which Christ has promised and arranged in different ways to continue His mission on earth: the apostolate and the Holy Spirit. The apostolate is the external and objective factor, it forms, so to speak, the material body of the Church and is the source of her visible and social structures. The Holy Spirit, on the other hand, acts internally within each person, as well as on the whole community, animating, vivifying, and sanctifying.
My brothers and sisters in Christ, the Holy Spirit is our Consoler as we make our way in this world amid difficulties and the temptation to feel depressed. In spite of our great limitations, we can still look up to heaven with confidence and joy. God loves us and frees us from our sins. The presence and the action of the Holy Spirit in the Church are a foretaste of eternal happiness, of the joy and peace for which we are destined by God.
Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit is God’s assurance that we will always have “enough” mercy to give and receive, “enough” compassion to seek and offer, and “enough” hope to carry on in the face of whatever loss or catastrophe we face.
Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit is also God’s assurance that love and mercy are never offered in vain, even in the most difficult situations. In the Holy Spirit we learn how to cope without losing hope; we learn to realize that in the painful realities of life we become capable of spiritual growth, transformation and ultimately our glorious bodily resurrection on the last day.
Mary, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, pray for us!