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26 “I will send you the Helper[a]from the Father. The Helper is the Spirit of truth[b] who comes from the Father. When he comes, he will tell about me.27 And you will tell people about me too, because you have been with me from the beginning.
One in Promise and Mission
The opening words of this reading for Pentecost underscore the presence and the unity of the Trinity. Jesus promises the coming of the Spirit, the Advocate (parakletos); he claims that the mission and sending of the Spirit occurs by his authority; and he assures us that this Spirit can be trusted as true on at least two counts -- the Spirit comes from the Father, and the Spirit exercises its mission chiefly not in bearing witness to self, but in testifying to the good news already made known in the resurrection of the Son (15:26). A similar assertion of this oneness of the promise and mission of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit concludes the reading for the day. "All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I have said that [the Spirit] will take what is mine and declare it to you" (16:15). So if the Spirit's identity and mission is centered in bearing witness and making present for us the fulfillment of Jesus' promise and mission as risen and glorified Lord, then the Spirit's identity is also centered in modeling and empowering that same witness in the community of Jesus' disciples. Witness to the unfolding love of the Father in the sending of the Son belongs to the essence of the Trinity. Jesus' disciple communities are gathered into that essence as we too are called and sent as witnesses to the promise made real in the "word made flesh": "You are witnesses, too, because you have been with me from the beginning" (15:27).