We are literally on the eve of Ascension day here. It is hard for the disciples to imagine what is going to happen, and even if they knew, I don’t think they would be looking forward to it. They wouldn’t want to be losing their friend so soon after his resurrection. But if he didn’t go, he couldn’t send the Holy Spirit, and then they’d never understand anything that happened.
What I love about this Gospel is the way Jesus was preparing them for what was to come. There is really good news here. He is telling them they will no longer have to ask Jesus to ask the Father for what they need. No, because they have known Jesus, and because he died and rose for them, and because he is returning to the Father to prepare the way for them, and most especially because he will be sending the Holy Spirit, because of all of that they now inherit the relationship Jesus himself had with the Father. And now they can ask the Father himself for what they need, in the name of Jesus.
This is true for us disciples too. Jesus died and rose and ascended and sent the Holy Spirit for us too. Because of that, we can now pray to the Father in the words our Savior gave us, asking for what we truly need in Jesus’ name. And the prayers we ask for in faith will be answered by the Father who loves us as he loves his only Son.