What do you think prompted those words from Jesus? Well, obviously the Apostles were a bit on the scared side! They were probably feeling exactly like teenagers going off to Uni. Or TAFE for the first time- scared to death, going off on their own for the first time, and fearing the unknown. So they receive the comfort; encouragement and support of their parents. Jesus is saying, as long as you have the Holy Spirit with you, you’ll have absolutely nothing to fear. So get out there and spread the Good News.
Philip the Deacon worked mighty wonders (First Reading: Acts 8), but only because he was filled with the same Holy Spirit. In fact, his work of evangelising and healing was with the hated Samaritans, and the power of the Holy Spirit produced its results. Nevertheless, the bishops (the Apostles) came and “laid hands” upon these new Christians so that they could also receive the Holy Spirit.
That’s the message for us today. Never forget that the Holy Spirit dwells within us, not far away in some cosmic location! Baptism and Confirmation bring the fullness of the Holy Spirit into our lives – the same effect as if Jesus was walking with us and living in our house! That’s a tremendous consolation, knowing we can call upon the Spirit of God within us in our time of need – which is every day of our lives.
The Father sends us the Holy Spirit because Jesus asks him to do so; this Spirit is the Advocate – “to be with you forever.” – The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us (CCC #692) that this Advocate (Holy Spirit) is always there to lead us to all Truth. The gift of the Spirit imparted by the Sacrament of Confirmation maintains the grace of Pentecost in the Church (see also CCC #1288).