in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation:
sin, because they do not believe in me;
righteousness, because I am going to the Father,
and you will no longer see me;
condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.”
Our Gospel is divided into two parts. First, Jesus is preparing his followers for the future when he will no longer be visibly with them. He is returning to his Father. He knows how this will disturb the apostles temporarily. Still he guarantees them it is for their own best interests. If he remained even in his glorified existence, he would be available alternately only at limited times and in separate localities. His followers might question whether he is always with us until the end of time or only with some of us some of the time.
Then the second message is the fact that it’s good that he goes to the Father so that the Paraclete can be sent to them. When this Holy Spirit comes, he will provide all necessary grace and satisfy people’s questioning.
He will convict the World of sin. Many Jews felt they were serving God by executing Christ; saving the Judaic religion, ridding the world of a malefactor. The Holy Spirit would show proof that their fundamental sin was the refusal to accept Jesus as their Messiah and Savior.
The Spirit would explain to them true righteousness. Though Jesus was executed as a criminal God raised him from the dead. He thereby fulfilled the Father’s will giving him the glory. And in return Jesus was glorified by the Father. In Christ we participate in his glory by being reconciled to the Father and united with the three persons of the Trinity for all eternity.
Finally, he would expose those who deserve condemnation. They are the ones who refuse to acknowledge Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of God.
Today, we enjoy the presence of the Holy Spirit, enabling us to distinguish the difference between right and wrong. He is our Advocate providing the grace we need to grow in sanctity. The Holy Spirit inspires us with confidence. Since Christ conquered sin and death he can now guarantee us eternal life.
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