24 If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not have sin.

But now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 It was to fulfill the word that is written in their law, ‘They hated me without a cause.’

26 “When the Advocate  comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf.

27 You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning.

Jesus continues in the dark foreboding tone that has characterized his words since John 13:18 when, after washing his disciples’ feet he predicted Judas’ betrayal quoting the words of the Psalmist who complained,

Even my bosom friend in whom I trusted,
who ate of my bread, has lifted the heel against me.
(Psalm 41:9)

 Psalm 41 is an angry vindictive piece of poetry. In the verse right after the one Jesus quotes, the angry Psalmist descends, to the point of praying about his enemies that God might

raise me up, that I may repay them. (Psalm 41:10)

This hardly sounds like the kind of attitude Jesus would want in any way to commend, even by association. But if we take seriously his humanness, his temptations at the beginning of the Gospels, his struggle with Satan in Matthew 16:23, the struggle with his destiny in Gethsemane, and his experience of abandonment on the cross, perhaps a trace of this darkness touched even Jesus.

Having glimpsed the depth of darkness that afflicts the human condition, Jesus would have been acutely aware of our need for the “Helper”/“Advocate” whom he would send to encourage and strengthen his followers.

This journey with Jesus is not one I can walk alone. If I am going to come even close to the luminous vision Jesus holds of what it means to be truly and deeply human, I must depend upon a power greater than my natural capacity. Self-will is not adequate to make it possible for me to transcend the darkness that at times afflicts my own being.

How willing am I to see the darkness that lurks within?

What helps me stay connected to the true and luminous nature at the centre of my being in spite of my awareness of the unavoidable shadows that are always present?