Reunions are always exciting events.  And to me, nothing beats a high school reunion.  A few weeks ago, I attended my high school batch reunion.  25 years passed since we graduated.  I could see happiness on the faces of all those present.  Why?  Because we were reunited with friends, true and tested friends; the same friends with whom we discovered life and love; with whom we grew in seriousness and mischief.

Friends have a way of reviving our hope that no other person – spouse, family or workmate – can ever do. A man discovered his cancer cells returned.  All he wanted to do was resign himself to it and die. He refused further medication. Then the wife notified the man’s best friend who visited and talked to the man.  Inspired by the visit, the man agreed to be treated again.  His confidence and hope rekindled by the words of a friend.

Today, as we celebrate Pentecost, I believe that a fresh approach to this feast is to perceive it as the Feast of God, the Friend of all. The gospel teaches us that there are three Divine Persons in One God. The first Person is God the Father because he is the origin and destiny of all. The second Person is the Son, our brother Jesus in whom we have become sons and daughters of the Father.  We meet the third Person today – the Holy Spirit.  How does Jesus present him?  Jesus says, He is the Paraclete.  He is the Consoler. He is the Spirit of truth.

In other words, the Holy Spirit is all that we need in a friend.  A Paraclete is a defender in times of difficulty.  A Consoler is one who assures us that everything will be all right. And a true friend always brings us to the truth, either to inspire us or to challenge us.  When the truth comes from the lips of a friend, even if it hurts, we are inclined to follow the truth.

There is a little difficulty in speaking of the Holy Spirit. Unlike the Father and the Son, we do not have a concrete picture of God the Holy Spirit. Spirit, by its very name, means breath of air, gush of wind, unseen, invisible.  But what is invisible is more powerfully felt. Again, that is what a friend does for us.  He is not always seen around us like family members or office or classmates are.  But a friend is always there for you.  He is reliable in every moment and every circumstance, even if he is not physically around.  Just remember how the words of your friends affect your life with inspiration and hope.

As we conclude Easter, the Father and the Lord Jesus have one final gift to  the Church and to each of us. They send us the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us as a Friend. We will survive all crises – health, financial, family, social – because we have a Friend in God.  The Holy Spirit is with us in an unseen yet powerful way.

Remember this all your life: in God we have not only a Father and a Son.  We also have a Friend. Be open to Him and trust Him with everything that happens in your life today. In every moment of life, day in and day out, cry out to the Holy Spirit. He is the Paraclete, the Consoler, the Spirit of Truth.  In other words, He is all we need in a friend.  Come, Holy Spirit, our Friend!