We can imagine in our Gospel this weekend that the disciples are not convinced that Jesus’ leaving could be a good thing. Jesus says that he is telling them these things now so that when they occur, they will believe. Yes, it is only after the resurrection, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, that the disciples begin to understand and believe the words of Jesus and are finally able to rejoice.
One of the possible fruits of our Gospel this weekend is to become more aware of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives. So often we do not understand what God is up to. We do not understand how certain events could have any meaning or result in anything good. It is only with time, and prayer, and the aid of the Holy Spirit that we begin to see how God might be working for good even in the midst of terrible and confusing events.
This is not to say that everything that happens is God’s will, for that would be to deny the reality of evil. The crucifixion of Jesus was clearly an act of human evil. But God is able to bring good even out of the worst evil. John’s Gospel sees the death of Jesus in the light of the resurrection, in the light of God’s triumph over evil and death. The incarnation, the ministry, the death and resurrection of Jesus, the sending of the Spirit — all of these events together demonstrate the depth of God’s love for the world.
Above all else, it is this profound love of God that Jesus has made known to his disciples that the Holy Spirit continues to make known to us. The Spirit assures us that we are never abandoned, even in the midst of the loss, pain, and sorrow that are part of life in this broken world.