Church of England Diocese of Leeds Mickley

Daily passage and reflection

Wednesday 12th May 2021 – Daily Reflection

John 16:12-13

12‘I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

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I have had the immense privilege of working alongside many people as they have reached the end of their lives. Some people want to talk about their death, to prepare for it, whilst others do not. Many of the conversations that people do have with family and friends as they approach the end of their lives gather an increasing sense of importance and intensity; feelings are shared and stories are told that have never been aired previously. These conversations are often deeply significant and will be long remembered by family and friends.

One of the things I have been asked to do on many occasions is to help people write letters and cards to leave for the ones they love to open and read only after their death; perhaps this is because the person who is dying knows that what they have to say will be more comforting to read, or may make more sense, after they have gone. Their letter or card is their parting gift to their loved ones.

In this morning’s Gospel reading, Jesus is speaking to his disciples in what is sometimes called his ‘Farewell Discourse’ at the Last Supper. He knows that his own death is fast approaching, and he is pouring out with all intensity the depth of his love for his beloved friends. There is so much yet that is still beyond their ability to comprehend, but Jesus’ words and actions will comfort and strengthen them after his death in ways that only the Holy Spirit will then enable them to understand. The Holy Spirit will be his parting gift to them. And oh, how much will they need his Holy Spirit if they are to be able to carry out the mission that Jesus has entrusted to them.

Perhaps we can relate this to our own personal faith experience, too. We need time, and we need the Holy Spirit, to be able to even start to understand what Jesus has to say about life, love, his presence in, and his call upon, our lives. There will, for all of us, be so many things that we may struggle to understand, and others that we may never be able understand. But as his Spirit would be there to enable those first disciples, so is that same Spirit offered to us - to guide us gently along the path of his will for our lives.

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Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. Amen