6th Sunday of Easter – May 17, 2020
This Sunday’s Gospel comes from a very profound and rich monologue of Jesus during his last meal with the disciples. The monologue focuses on one of the deepest themes in the Gospel of John – that of remaining or abiding. Just as Jesus abides in the Father, he now asks his disciples to abide in him.
To abide means to accept or act in accordance with. But the original Greek term meno, leans closer to dwelling and unity. It speaks of the privilege place of Jesus in the Father’s heart – he is the Beloved and the Father is the lover. Now he extends this relationship to us.
To make this possible, he promises an advocate who will guide us towards a closer unity in the Son and the Father. The Spirit that binds the Father and the Son in love now opens himself to include the disciples.
The presence of the Spirit is easily known. A person filled with the Spirit is able to do wonders. He replicates the works of Jesus. He is exudes hope and joy. He defeats evil, sin and suffering. Our first reading demonstrates this in the works of Philip. And to confirm that Philip’s works are really coming from Jesus and the Spirit, the Apostles came to the converted community and gave them the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit is an agent of unity. He unites the disciple to Christ. He unites the disciples to one another. Here we see the value of the Sacrament of Confirmation where the Christian is bound closely to the Christian community and the leadership of the Church through the power of the Spirit. In him there is one God, one Shepherd, and one Church.
What makes possible the entry of the Spirit into one’s heart? It is through faith in Jesus as the Apostle Peter points out in the second reading. To sanctify the Jesus in one’s heart means allowing Christ to take over one’s heart totally. It is faith in Jesus that allows us to be empowered by the Spirit and gives us the grace to do wonders before all people. Continuing the line of thought from the psalms, the joy done by God from of old, has been renewed in Christ, and now is perpetuated by his disciples.
Let our prayer be this Sunday: Lord, through us filled with the Spirit, let all the earth cry out to God with joy!
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 14:15-21.
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