The WORD in Other Words by Fr Raymun Festin SVD (Rome) for Wednesday Week 34 in Ordinary Time
It is remarkable to note that the scene which Jesus visualizes in today‘s Gospel takes place in the courtroom. Imagine yourself as a defendant helplessly standing before the judge, your accusers, and the threatening crowd. How would you feel?
To be charged in the court of law is a not a prospect which one will devoutly wish for. The respondent always feels insecure, threatened, and alone. This is the context of today‘s Gospel.
Now Jesus assures us that everything will be fine. He even tells us not to prepare our own defence because He himself, through the Holy Spirit, will speak for us and defend us.
The Holy Spirit is known as the Advocate or Counsellor.
In Greek, an advocate is called paraclétos, a friend or ally of the accused called to defend him in court and to vouch for his character and good name. The presence of a paraclétos is source of reassurance and comfort to the person charged and accused before the judge or the magistrate.
Even if the case of the defendant is hopeless, present—day lawyers have an uncanny way of reassuring their clients. They tell them: “I know you are guilty, but I will prove and convince you and the judge that you are innocent!” That is a smart liar/lawyer.
Paraclétos is translated to Latin as advocatus, which is the root word of the Spanish term abogado, meaning lawyer, attorney, or legal counsellor.
If you find yourself accused before the judge or even if people (your colleagues or critics) denounce you or say many things bad about you because you stand up for truth and justice, relax and be cool.
Jesus assures us that we will have the best Lawyer or Advocate and Counsellor—the Holy Spirit.