Holy Spirit, I ask you for the gift of wisdom to come to know You and Your divine perfections better.
I ask you for the gift of understanding for a better grasp of the spirit of the mysteries of the Holy Faith.
I ask you for the gift of knowledge so that I could follow the principles of this Faith in my life.
I ask you for the gift of counsel, so that in all things I will seek counsel from you and will always find it in you.
I ask you for the gift of fortitude so that no anxiety or earthly motivations could take me away from you.
I ask you for the gift of piety, so that I could always serve your majesty with filial love.
I ask you for the gift of the fear of God so that I could always dread the sin that offends You, O God.
My Dear Sisters and Brothers! Today I have said this prayer because the prayer itself and the life situation which marked the future Pope learning it echo the Gospel reading for this sixth Sunday of Easter.
The Disciples from the Gospel were also facing a departure of someone they loved, someone who was their consoler, comforter and helper. For the Disciples it was Jesus Christ, whose arrest was imminent. However in that unsettling situation Jesus made a promise: ‘I shall ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you for ever, that Spirit of truth.’ When St John the Apostle wrote the Gospel he used the word: Paraclete which in Latin and many modern European languages was translated as Advocate. Both words focus on someone who is called or sent to assist another in their need, someone who makes the right judgment-call because he is close enough to the situation. This closeness was demonstrated when Jesus became Emmanuel, God-is-with-us. He is our Paraclete, our Advocate. This was what the Disciples enjoyed when they followed him.
When the time of Jesus’ passion and death was approaching he revealed that the Holy Spirit who descended upon him during his baptism had the same sentiments for the Disciples. Last Sunday we heard Jesus assuring that: ‘To have seen me is to have seen the Father.’ Every word Jesus spoke, every gesture he made, was that of his Father. The comfort, forgiveness, patience, support the Disciples found in Jesus were also expressions of the sentiments of the Heavenly Father for them.
When Jesus was about to be taken from the Disciples he revealed to them, and to us as well, that the Father, he and the Holy Spirit are on our side. In these days of Eastertide leading to the Solemnity of Pentecost I encourage you to hold fast onto faith that we are not orphans in this world.
In the course of our life we may farewell many people who were close to us. In the course of our life we may say a goodbye to many of our dreams and plans. In the course of our life we may even send off the positive image of ourselves, which we have tried to build over years. However the promised Paraclete, the promised Advocate will be with us forever. He will be with us forever in all those situations as our Paraclete, as our Advocate. The loses we experience are the spaces to be filled by him.
To finish this homily I would like to pass onto you the prayer which Karol Wojtyla Senior passed onto his nine-year-old son. From Thursday we will begin the ancient novena of Pentecost. This Novena was first held by the Disciples and Mary when they waited for the coming of the Holy Spirit in the Cenacle. I encourage you to hold the 2020 Pentecost Novena by praying the prayer, which was a daily prayer of St John Paul II, from this Thursday until Pentecost. I also hope that you may come to love this prayer so much that it will become your daily prayer too.