Easter, just like Christmas, is a time of gifts. And where Christmas brings to mind thoughts of material gifts (inspired by the magi), Easter is a profusion of invisible gifts. Jesus does not only give us the gift of new life as he exemplifies in his resurrection. He also gives us the most intimate gift that can come from his heart – he gives us the Spirit of God.

Today, the Lord introduces us (Jn 14:15-21) to the most precious gift that flows from the Cross and the empty tomb, the gift that comes down from heaven. The Lord calls the Holy Spirit Advocate, or Counselor. He is the “other” Advocate or Counselor, because Jesus himself is our first one.

Jesus reveals the intimate nature of the Spirit. The world does not know him but we Christians know him. In the first reading, the believers of Samaria wait for Peter and John to come (Acts 8) so that through them, they can receive the Holy Spirit. As they laid hands on the converts, the Holy Spirit entered their hearts.

Jesus says the Spirit lives in us and will always be with us. And so, even if we will  no longer behold the Lord in his physical form, God will be with us in a new way, a powerful way, a subtle yet real way, with a closeness that cannot be imagined. Did not St. Paul teach us that we are the temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor: 6)? Our whole selves are the preferred dwelling place of the Spirit of God.

Do you pray to the Holy Spirit? Do you have a relationship, a devotion, a contact to the God who dwells in you? We cannot yet see God the Father. We can touch God the Son in the Eucharist. But God the Holy Spirit is closer to us than the breath we take. All we need is to turn to him and welcome him as our friend and guide – that’s what Advocate or Counselor means.

Dear Holy Spirit, I praise and thank you for living within me. I am not a worthy vessel but in the poverty of my heart, I welcome and adore you. Give me the grace to grow in faith, to increase in hope, and to become active in love. Lead me by the hand and take me where God wants me to be. Amen.