The Advocate Who Pleads Our Cause

The Advocate Who Pleads Our Cause May 28, 2019

via Flickr/Creative Commons

I suspect when most of us think of the Holy Spirit, “the Advocate” isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. It’s a term we might normally encounter in a court of law, and let’s face it: We don’t usually think of the third person of the Trinity standing before the bench, like a spiritual Perry Mason. But maybe we should.

When Jesus refers to “the Advocate” in John’s Gospel, it is a startling reminder that in the Christian journey we are not alone. We have someone on our side—a defender, a counselor, an advisor. An advocate. The Holy Spirit pleads our cause. And not only that. Jesus adds: “He will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation.”

But the Holy Spirit is, first and foremost, one who advocates on our behalf.

As the Spirit of wisdom, understanding, and fortitude, this advocate pleads in our hearts for patience. The Spirit encourages compassion, defends our acts of mercy and humility. And, when it seems most elusive, the Spirit advises prayerful hope.

As the Spirit of counsel, knowledge, and piety, this advocate stands beside us when we are unsure, or indecisive, or doubtful—nurturing faith and offering grace in moments when it seems they are lost.

The Advocate who came at Pentecost, the one foretold by Jesus, does not work on retainer. The Spirit doesn’t keep track of billable hours. The Spirit is always at our service, ready to be our defender, our companion, our counselor, our guide.

The Holy Spirit advocates for the Gospel, so that we can continue to walk the way of Christ—no matter what trials we may face.

— originally published in the May 2019 edition of Give Us This Day, from Liturgical Press.

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