“. . . I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me.” (John 15: 26)
The word that John uses for the Spirit is Paraclete, meaning the one who is called alongside. The Spirit of God stands alongside us to give strength, courage, comfort. The Spirit of God stands with us, up close and personal, that we might not grow weak or weary or falter. Paul is found praying with the holy women of Lydia’s household whom he teaches, baptizes and welcomes into the community (ekklesia—those who are called out or called together). Lydia, filled with a new spirit, ecstatically welcomes the community into her house to give of her own newfound strength, courage and comfort.
Recently, I saw a photograph on Facebook of a tiny girl dressed in a hospital gown, walking all alone down a hall, pushing an IV pole. The caption plaintively read: “I have no one to pray for me.” And I could not help but think how important it is that we stand with one another, support one another, pray for one another, give our strength to one another. With God’s Spirit accompanying us, we companion others in need.
Fill us with your Spirit, O God, that we may stand strong together, sharing with one another our faith, hope and love.
Rev. Bill Hubmann, C.PP.S.
Kansas City Province