“I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now” (John 16:12)
Today’s Gospel (John 16:12-15) continues the Last Supper narrative where Jesus is preparing his followers for life after his death and resurrection. He had taught them much, but they could not absorb it all. This is why the Holy Spirit would guide them to remember and understand all that he had been and done and said.
The Holy Spirit has continued fulfilling this role until the present day. Often through calling people and giving them a special ability (charism) to serve God’s people. Tomorrow we celebrate the feast of one of these charismatic figures: Saint Eugene de Mazenod. He was one of the instruments through him the Holy Spirit guided the devastated Church in France back to Jesus as Savior. The Holy Spirit has continued to use the instrumentality of Eugene’s charism for two centuries, through his Mazenodian Family, to continue to teach to people in 67 countries the “I have much more to tell you” of Jesus.
Eugene’s words, written in 1818, continue to be a spurring call for us today:
Thus, it is supremely important, it is urgently imperative, that we lead the multitude of lost sheep back to the fold, that we teach these degenerate Christians who Jesus Christ is… We must lead people to act like human beings, first of all, and then like Christians, and, finally, we must help them to become saints. (The Preface to the CC&RR)
At the Shrine of Notre Dame de la Garde in Marseilles, built by Bishop Eugene de Mazenod, there is this statue of Veronica wiping the face of the suffering Jesus. It is dedicated to all the missionaries who left from this city to cross the sea to bring the consolation of the Gospel. Today let us give thanks for all those who have brought us to a deeper knowledge of God and continue to do so.