Fr Paul Gooley reads from the Gospel of John (16: 16-20) in which Jesus says to his disciples, ‘In a short time you will no longer see me, and then a short time later while you will see me again… you will be weeping and wailing while the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy’.

Fr Paul says the return of Jesus to the Father meant He would no longer be visibly present among his disciples. In his place he would send the Spirit to permeate his community and continue his mission. Jesus wanted the community he created and nourished to be filled with his Spirit so they could transmit the message to others.

This is one reason for the Ascension and the sending of the Spirit. The entire history of salvation culminates not in the resurrection of the Lord but in the flooding of the Spirit into people’s minds and hearts.

Fr Paul invites us to reflect on today’s Gospel challenge – let the Spirit flood our minds and hearts.