Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit to accompany his disciples. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth.”

Just a moment before, Jesus had identified himself as the Truth and as, essentially, one with the Father. Thus we find in this first reference to the “Advocate,” the parakletos, a fairly clear proto-Trinitarian formula. As Jesus reflects the Father’s being, so this third seems to reflect the mutuality of Jesus and the Father, since both are involved in his sending.

The role of the parakletos is that of animating the Church, which Jesus, at least in the ordinary sense, is about to leave. More precisely, he will lead the followers of Jesus into the fullness of truth, maintaining a vibrant continuity with the Lord and hence with the Father:

“The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name—he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.” Notice the densely-packed coinherence that obtains among the three, a one-in-the-otherness into which the Church itself is being invited.