Dear Friend,

According to Jesus, our Father in heaven knows everything you need before you ask. (Matthew 6:8) And as you read this, our Lord Jesus gives exactly the help you need by giving you the Person of the Holy Spirit, who also goes by the inexhaustible title “Paraklete.”

A paraklete is someone who comes alongside you when you call for help. As the third Person in the Trinity, the Holy Spirit as Paraklete gives you exactly the help you need. In Willowdale’s Gospel reading for Sunday, John 14:15-27, Jesus promises the Holy Spirit as Paraklete two times (vv. 16 and 26). In the surrounding section of John called “the Farewell Discourse,” Jesus promises the Paraklete again at John 15:26 and 16:7. If you need help today—and who doesn’t?—you can encounter the Paraklete by reading John 14-16.

Different versions of the Scriptures interpret “Paraklete” in different ways. Some versions translate “Comforter;” others “Counsellor.” Some say “Advocate;” others “Helper.” Jesus refers to the Paraklete as “another Paraklete” and thereby implies that when the Holy Spirit comes alongside us, the Paraklete comes as, in effect, “another Jesus.” So ponder all the ways Jesus can help you, and then open your mind to receive the Paraklete bringing the help you need.

The different translations suggest different ways we need help. Everyone needs comfort from the Comforter; we also need counsel from our Counsellor about how to rise to new life. We all need advocacy from our Advocate; we also need conviction, which is another truth our Helper gives us. Other gifts to consider praying for include: becoming one in love, as Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are one God, (John 17:20-21) and expressing love as forgiveness in a way that opens us to new life. (John 20:22-23) Jesus sends us to embody love, forgiveness, and peace to one another and the world. (John 20:19-23) To live up to the honour of that calling, we need the Paraklete.

Once again: our Father knows what you need before you ask. In your calling to embody Jesus, have you pondered what you need? Have you asked? Jesus will not leave you bereft; our Lord will come to you as the Paraklete.