Reflection: Sixth Sunday of Easter

Chinese Mass:Every Sunday 2:15 p.m.

Our Lady of the Assumption RC Church, Assumption Priory, Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green E2 9PB (map)

After Mass you are welcome to join the community for a tea gathering

Bible study/sharing every Saturday (2:00-4:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX (near See Woo Chinese Supermarket, Leicester Square tube station)

Talk and discussion meeting First Monday of every month (4:00-6:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church

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[1st Reading – Acts 15:1-2,22-29; Ps.66; 2nd Reading – Ap.21:10-14,22-23; Gospel – Jn.14:23-29]

“… YOU MAY BELIEVE”

Today we are presented with one of Jesus’ farewell discourses. He is telling his disciples that they are not going to see him any more because he is going to the Father, but he also tells them that he will return back to them. In the meantime He assures them that when he leaves, the Father will send them the Holy Spirit who has the following double purpose in their lives:  (1) to teach them everything and (2) to remind them what Jesus himself had already taught them. In other words Jesus is saying that although he taught them many things, inevitably they will forget, but they will have the Holy Spirit to help them remember while at the same time they still have a lot of new things to learn. But the talk of the Holy Spirit was something that the disciples never understood until after Jesus’ resurrection when they actually had the Holy Spirit with them.

Noteworthy is the fact that Jesus, although He is talking to his disciples, he is actually addressing “anyone” who loves him. Hence, the Holy Spirit will teach and remind not only those who were listening to Jesus at that time when Jesus was with them, but also “anyone” else thereafter who loves Jesus and who keeps His word – these are all loved by the Father in heaven and they (the Son who is loved, the Father who loves and the Holy Spirit who is sent) will come to dwell in that person.

Although God’s love is open to everyone, Jesus puts a condition that for “anyone” to have the dwelling of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in them, one has to love Jesus and keep his word. Being open to the word of God is not enough, even though it is the first step towards Him. One cannot just say that they love Jesus – they must live in such a way that the word of God is alive and visible in them. As a matter of fact, Jesus also says that those who do not love Him do not keep his word. To ‘love Jesus’ and to ‘keep his word’ become synonymous and interchangeable with each other. This interchangeability is quite different when Jesus speaks about the Father. To give strength to his word, Jesus says that his words are truly the Father’s words and therefore the persons who accept these words accept the Father in their life. In turn the Father, whose words are accepted and kept, showers His love on the person who accepts the words spoken by Jesus (which are the Father’s). Furthermore the same Father will send the Holy Spirit to teach (new things) and remind (old things) to those who love the Lord and keep his words.

This Holy Spirit is called the Advocate, the one who ‘speaks for‘. We are told that the Holy Spirit will be sent by the Father, in Jesus’ name. It is therefore the Holy Spirit who will ‘speak for’ those who love and keep the word of Jesus, according to what the same Holy Spirit experiences while dwelling with those who accept him and let Him work in their life.

“Lord, quite often we say that we love you but our actions are far from the evidence of this love.  Give us the Holy Spirit to have the strength by which we can do your will.  Thank You Lord!”

 

Fr. Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.

(Permission to reproduce on this site by Fr. Jesmond, St. Patrick’s RC Church, Waterloo http://www.stpatrickwaterloo.org.uk/ )

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