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Friends, today’s Gospel focuses on the Holy Spirit’s role as witness to Jesus: “When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me.”

All Christian preaching is ultimately about the Paschal Mystery—the suffering, dying, and rising of Jesus—and the sending of the Holy Spirit. But this last element is especially important for today, because it signals the way that we are able to participate in the life that Jesus opens up to us.

One of the chief marks of the Holy Spirit is the prompting to bold speech. From the Apostles through the great evangelists and theologians, up to Billy Graham and John Paul II, the Spirit prompts people to confess the lordship of Jesus. Remember that Paul told us, “No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the holy Spirit.”

Who is the Holy Spirit? He is the third person of the Holy Trinity, but more precisely, the love shared by the Father and the Son. As the love between Father and Son, the Spirit comes most fully to historical expression during the great events of the Incarnation and the Paschal Mystery.