From today’s Gospel, from St John: ‘Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counsellor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you’.

Christ here refers to the future descent of the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete. St Cyril of Alexandria commented: ‘You see that the Spirit moulds as it were into another likeness those in whom He visibly abides. For He easily turns them from an inclination to dwell on the things of earth, to the contemplation only of that which is in heaven; and from an unmanly cowardice to a courageous disposition. And that we shall find the disciples thus affected and steeled by the Holy Spirit into indifference to the assaults of their persecutors, and laying fast hold of the love that is towards Christ, can no way be questioned. Therefore the saying of the Saviour is true, when He says, “It is expedient for you that I depart into heaven.” For that was the occasion of the descent of the Spirit’.

In these days of waiting, let us lay ‘fast hold of the love that is towards Christ’, who will pour out of His riches every good and perfect gift. May God bless you this day.