The Father will give you another Advocate
to be with you always.
John 14: 16
At the Last Supper, Jesus promised his disciples that God the Father would send another advocate, another defender, another comforter.
God does not leave us alone. God does not leave us orphans – although it sometimes appears that we live in a world where so many people seem abandoned and alone.
The last line of Psalm 66 in the Grail translation puts this beautifully:
Blessed be God who did not reject my prayer
nor withhold his love from me.
But so many feel abandoned.
Today a friend sent me photos of Pope Francis at the Separation Wall in Bethlehem. The writing on the wall called on the pope to be an advocate: “Welcome, Pope. We need someone to speak about justice.”
I remember my visit to a Bethlehem refugee camps almost ten years ago, probably near that spot. There were kids playing in the street – as there were kids near the pope – but we entered a house that had just been dynamited by Israel forces.
Pope Francis’s invitation to the presidents of Palestine and Israel to come and pray with him at the Vatican are words of someone who wants to advocate for the poor, for the victims of violence – on all sides.
We are called, I believe, to be advocates of all those in need. God sends us an Advocate, but we too are sent to be advocates, as Gustavo notes in Sharing the Word through the Liturgical Year, p. 104
The Lord is asking us to be with our sisters and brothers. Receiving the Spirit (Acts 8: 15-17) must make us become “advocates,” defenders, people who are with those who need us. We are called to serve, not impose our ideas. This presupposes our living and sharing with the,. If Jesus does not leave us orphans (Jn 14:18), neither should we leave those who need us orphans. This is true worship, sanctifying the Lord in our hearts (1 Pet 3:15).
There are so many victims of injustice, of violence, of separation walls. How will I be an advocate?