Reflection: Pentecost

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


[1st Reading – Acts 2:1-11; Ps.103; 2nd Reading – Rom.8:8-17; Gospel – Jn.14:15-16, 23-26]


“If you love me…” Love has always been a topic of great interest. The works of literature have quite often made a divinity out of love. Music never seems to get tired of singing love’s elegy and harmony, and the media has made out of love a means of advertising and selling its product…  Unfortunately, the Church and similarly the Word of God have often suffered because of erroneous conceptions of love. More often than not, the teaching of Christ and of the Church about love is taken for granted together with the expectation that a Christian is someone who has to “love” regardless of what “love” actually means. Jesus, however, is very clear when he talks about love. For Jesus, love is not simply a sentiment or a feeling that one experiences. Love is an action towards another. It is not about how many “I love you” one says, but what one does to show love for the benefit of another. Thus the source of love is not found in the one who loves but in the one who is loved. In the Scriptures we see that God transmits his love for his people in exactly the same way. He was not insistent in saying “I love you”, but He was always keen in transmitting his love through what he did (and still does!) for his people. Consider His ultimate action of love towards us by sending us Jesus, his only Son.

In today’s gospel Jesus unites the love that we have for him (which is an answer to his love for us) with the keeping of his commandments. Again it is not about saying “I love God”, but in keeping (and therefore “doing”) and living according to his word. In doing so, the recipient of our love to Jesus is, yes, Jesus Himself, but also our fellow human beings who, like us, in return love Jesus. Jesus goes one step further and continues to show his love towards us by asking the Father to send the Holy Spirit, the Advocate to be with us forever. It is an action that Jesus repeats as often as is needed … because he loves us. He continues to ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit, and the Father continues to send this Advocate to us in Jesus’ name. The Holy Spirit that we received (or are going to receive) will ensure God’s continual presence with us. The Holy Spirit will continue to teach us the Will of God. It is the same Holy Spirit who will remind us of all that is written in the Word of God – in both the Old and New Testaments. It is the Holy Spirit who will give us the ability to understand the Will of God and be able to carry out the Will of God accordingly…

All this takes place under the shadow of Love. If we love Jesus, we will be truly ready to keep his commandments. Jesus, in turn, loves us in such a way that He will ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit to be our Advocate so that we will still have God’s presence with us. This Advocate, who will act in us, will give us the strength to be able to continue to love God, first and foremost, and then others. Love becomes circular which has its beginning through the love of God, but has no end because it is a continuous act of love which has its energy in the love of God given through the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus.

The Holy Spirit wants to become our Advocate and therefore intercedes for us as long as we are ready to accept his love. He wants to show us how much He loves us by coming to dwell in us. Are we ready to accept his love? And do we merit his presence in us?

“Lord, you gave us the Holy Spirit as a gift of your presence in our Baptism and Confirmation, to be our Advocate and guide! Give us the wisdom that we need to accept his love, and share it with others in such a way that we show our love to Jesus.  Thank You Lord!”


Fr. Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.

(Permission to reproduce on this site by Fr. Jesmond, St. Patrick’s RC Church, Waterloo )

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