But I have told you all this, so that when the time for it comes you may remember that I told you. (John 16:4)
Let us remember that the words of today’s Gospel (John 15:26 – 16:4) were spoken at the Last Supper, where Jesus was preparing his disciples for his death and resurrection. From now on they will to have to learn to recognize his presence in a different way. The Holy Spirit will continue the work of Jesus.
His disciples will be criticized for their values, judged for their behavior and badly-treated for their beliefs (as we continue to experience today), but the Holy Spirit will keep them strong by reminding them of all that Jesus means and teaches.
St Eugene lived this reality in many situations as a Christian, a priest, a missionary religious and as a bishop. Never once did he despair or give up – he always relied on the strength of the Holy Spirit. Through prayer and his daily Gospel study and meditation, he “remembered” all that Jesus was, and was guided and loved by him.
On retreat in 1811 he prayed:
that the Holy Spirit… may come to rest on me in all its fullness, filling everything within me with the love of Jesus Christ my Saviour, in such a way that I live and breathe no longer but in him, consume myself in his love, serving him and spreading the news of how lovable he is.
We have been baptized and are in relationship with Jesus and his Father, and we have received the Holy Spirit. Let us remember all this throughout the day, and may it be our strength to face and cope with what is happening in the world and around us today.