Jesus said to his disciples: “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mined but that of the Father who sent me.
“I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world give do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. You heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe.” (John 14:23-29)
As we make our way in this world, the Holy Spirit is our Counselor, amid difficulties and against the temptation to feel disheartened. “In spite of our great limitations, we can look up to heaven with confidence and joy: God loves us and frees us from our sins. The action and presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church are a foretaste of eternal happiness where joy and peace as we are destined to God” (Saint Josemaria Escriva, Christ Is Passing By, 128).
The apostles are surprised (v. 22) because they interpret Jesus’ words as meant for them alone, whereas the commonly held opinion among Jews was that when the Messiah came he would be revealed to the whole word as a king and savior. Jesus’ reply (v. 23) may seem evasive but, in fact, in telling them how the Messiah will manifest himself, he is explaining why his glory is not manifest to the world at large: he makes himself known to those who love him and keep his commandments. God revealed himself repeatedly in the Old Testament, and promised that he would stay in the midst of his people (see Ex 29:45; Ezek 37:26-27) but here Jesus speaks of a presence in each person. Saint Paul refers to the same truth when he says that each of us is a temple of the Holy Spirit (see 1 Cor 6:19; 2 Cor 6:16).
The saints have drawn much consolation from the realization that the Trinity dwells in the soul of each person. “It was a sweet dream that shed light throughout my life, converting it into a heaven on earth” (BI. Elizabeth of the Trinity, Epistula, 1906
The word translated here as “bring to […] your remembrance” also includes the idea of suggestions: the Holy Spirit will remind the apostles’ of what they have already heard Jesus say, and he will give them light to enable them to discover the depth and richness of it all. Thus, “the apostles handed on to their hearers what he had said and done, but with that fuller understanding which they, instructed by the glorious events of Christ and enlightened by the Spirit of truth, now enjoyed” (Vatican II, Dei Verbum, 18).
“And so the Holy Spirit did teach them and remind them: he taught them what Christ had not said because they could not have taken it in, and he reminded them of what the Lord had taught and which, either because of the obscurity of the things or because of the dullness of their minds, they had not been able to retain” (Theophylact, Enarratio in Evangelium Ionnis, ad loc.).
Along with the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Christian also receives peace (v. 27), that is, reconciliation with God and with others (cf. Gal 5:22-23). The peace that Jesus sends transcends that of this world, which can be superficial and sometimes co-exist with great injustice.
When Jesus says that the Father is greater than he (v. 28), he is thinking of his human nature. As man, Jesus will be glorified; he will ascend to the right hand of the Father. Jesus Christ “is equal to the Father in his divinity, less than the Father in his humanity” (Athanasian Creed).
The “world” (v.30), as in many other passages, refers to all those who reject Christ: thus, the devil is the prince of that world (cf. 1:10; 7:7; 15:18-19; 16:8-11; 17:16). The devil has been opposing the work of Jesus from the start of his public life when he tempted him in the wilderness (see Mt 4:1-11 and par.). Now is the hour of the power of darkness (see Luke 22:53), when the devil, using Jesus’ betrayer (see 13:27; Luke 22:1-6), succeeds in having our Lord arrested and crucified.