When we want to show love and commitment to others, we are attentive to their words; we then match this with our behavior. In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells His listeners that if we love Him, we will hear and keep His words. This can entail sacrifice and certainly perseverance, but Jesus reassures us that the Holy Spirit will “teach you everything you need to know.” We are not left adrift, nor do we need to understand all that Jesus’ words entail at one and the same time. Many of us are slow learners and must be helped to do the right thing—often in spite of ourselves. Jesus’ words are consoling and challenging. He wants us to hear and live by them. This is a lifetime’s work. We can’t do it alone. That is why a Pentecost is necessary, and perhaps not just once but repeatedly.
By Carol Berg, OSB