Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Easter
(Acts 17:15.22-18.1; John 16:12-15)
In the movie Taps , a crisis descends over a high school military academy. Upon the arrest of the academy’s esteemed commander for a crime he did not commit, the cadets take control of the institution and the multiple arms it stores. Before the commander can counsel the young cadets to give up their futile quest, he dies of a heart attack. The cadet leaders are left in a quandary. Should they nobly defend their academy or should they give in to civil authorities? Seeking clues that might help them answer their question, the cadets review old films of the director. A similar action is suggested in the gospel today.
Jesus promises to send the Spirit of truth to his disciples after he ascends to the Father. It will help them meet their challenges as a community of faith in the future. The Spirit will remind the disciples of what Jesus told them as if Jesus had not really left them. Because he knows that the community will expand and multiply, Jesus has said that it is better that he returns to the Father and the Spirit comes. Not limited to time and space, the Spirit will accompany the community wherever its new incarnations are found.
The Spirit remains with us today. It reminds us that in loving one another within the Church, we give witness to the world that Jesus is Lord. As the Church becomes more diversified culturally, communal love means that more established components show acceptance and support for newer, fledging ones. It also means that liberals and conservatives arrest much of their bickering in order to attend to the Spirit’s promptings.