Gospel of John 16:20-23 Reflection:
As we approach Pentecost, the theme of the Holy Spirit comes more and more into our readings. In the first reading the Lord speaks to Paul and tells him "not to be afraid to speak out, nor allow yourself to be silenced".
Paul is given the task of proclaiming God's word and the Lord tells him not to be ashamed or afraid to do so. The proclaiming of God's word is always the work of the Spirit: Paul is to obey the Spirit.
In the Gospel, Jesus speaks of the person who is waiting on God and his mercy. Again, the Spirit of God is the mercy of God because he brings comfort and solace to the afflicted.
But Jesus gives us a great assurance in the Gospel today.
We may be waiting on the Spirit but when the Spirit comes no one will take it away from us again. Pentecost signifies that time when the Holy Spirit comes into the life of a person for that last and final time after which there is no going back.
That is why Pentecost is such a joyful experience for us all!