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Friends, in our Gospel today, Jesus assures us that the Holy Spirit will help us when we face persecution. Speaking to his disciples the night before he dies, Jesus says that he and his Father will send another Parakletos (Advocate). That word, stemming from kaleo (to call) and para (for, or on behalf of), designates something like a lawyer, someone who would plead on behalf of another, who would support, advocate, encourage.

Jesus is saying that while he will depart physically from the scene, he and his Father will send the Spirit as a friend. This is the advocate who will inspire Christians up and down the ages. 

When the martyrs went to their deaths, it was with the help of the Holy Spirit; when the missionaries went to proclaim the faith in hostile lands, it was the Holy Spirit who pleaded on their behalf; when Edith Stein went with her Gestapo captors to Auschwitz, she too went with the Holy Spirit. And that same Spirit is with you today, right now.