6th Sunday of Easter
The beginning of this week’s Gospel sounds so simple but as with many of Jesus’ sayings, t is not as easy as it sounds! How do we keep Jesus’ word? I would suggest that He wants us to keep His commandments – to love God and to love our neighbour. We are then promised that if we fulfil this then the Father and Jesus will make their home in us. What an offer!
Jesus then goes on to explain, as He has done often before, that the word is not His: it comes from His Father. Jesus is promising His disciples a life that includes Him and His Father. He is anxious that He should do all that He has to do while He is still with them.
It is important that the disciples – and us – realise that they/ we are not alone. The Holy Spirit is our Advocate – someone on our side. Not only has the Father sent the Spirit to teach us everything but also to remind us of all that Jesus said. The Spirit will help us to understand all that Jesus has revealed about Himself and His Father. Sometimes we forget how important the Holy Spirit is in our lives and perhaps we would do well to remember the Spirit is an equal member of the Trinity.
Jesus goes on to bequeath peace to the disciples. It is not just any old peace – it is Jesus’ own peace, one the world cannot give. He then exhorts them, and us, not to let our hearts be troubled or afraid. (Easier said than done!) As when we lose our loved ones who we believe return to the Father when they die, so too Jesus returns to His Father, so how can the disciples not be glad for Him?
Jesus ends this passage by explaining that He needed to do all this before it all happened so that when it DID happen they could believe. This passage has many comforting words from Jesus but they cannot comfort us unless we allow them to make a difference in our lives – we must do something, we must depend totally on God.
Sr. Margaret Mattison