Acts 2:1-21; Romans 8:22-27; John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15; Psalm 104:25-35, 37
Paraclete, the Greek word that our Gospel reading today translates as advocate, has a long theological history and many other synonyms: comforter, counselor, helper. Its deepest roots point to “who is called to one’s side,” and its first attribute is to speak for us and with us. It may have come to have a legal implication, but the Paraclete has its origins as our companion.
When Peter and the other disciples are visited by the tongues of fire and begin to speak in Jerusalem, those who hear them are not miraculously able to comprehend a language foreign to them. Each listener is met by their own words of comfort, words from their own homes. It’s a reminder that God’s grace lies in meeting us where we are as well as pulling us toward what we may yet come to be.
As those we baptize today grow and learn and head out into the adventure of living, we pray that they will always know themselves to be companioned by God’s loving presence, who speaks to them both in gentle comfort and in wild wind. Whatever they encounter, we hope that they will be emboldened to seek for and speak the truth. We await their dreams and their prophecies with excitement and joy.
Carol James has been part of the cathedral community for over a decade. She has served as a co-mentor in the Education for Ministry program. She currently leads the evening prayer providers in the Jail Ministry and is a cathedral staff member.