24 May
Jn 16:12-15

Jesus said: “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”

Someone said hindsight is always 20/20.  But hindsight is what you don’t have at the time. 

In simple matters of fact hindsight is a simple thing: you can see within the hour that you backed the wrong horse – or within seconds that you said the wrong thing.  But in deeper matters, hindsight is a slow process of realisation.  The Holy Spirit gives hindsight on Jesus. This is the Spirit working in us, the patient inner teacher, opening our minds slowly to the light that has long since come into the world.  The Spirit guides us (hodegeo) along the way; it is Jesus who is the way (hodos) itself – indeed the truth itself (Jn 14:6). 

“The Spirit will guide you into all truth,” that is, all the truth about God.  The Son has revealed the Father, and now the Spirit will reveal the Father by revealing the Son.  We are being attracted by the Spirit into the inner life of God. 

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.”  The disciples to whom these words were addressed had the best of excuses for not having hindsight: the event had not taken place yet.  The event was the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus.  They could not possibly have understood him at that time, except as a remarkable man. 

When disciples of any age consider Jesus without the guidance of the Spirit, that is what they find: a remarkable man.  There were so many boring things written in the 19th century about the ‘moral excellence’ of Jesus…. This would only get him a place among the Pharisees.  It is the Spirit alone that can draw us into the mind of Jesus. 



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This page gives a very brief commentary by Donagh O’Shea on the gospel reading for each day of the month. 


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