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 Tuesday of every month (4:00-6:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church


[1st Reading – Acts 8:5-8,14-17; Ps.65; 2nd Reading – 1Pt.3:15-18; Gospel – Jn.14:15-21]


In last Sunday’s gospel, Jesus told his disciples that he was going to the Father to prepare a place for them near him. In today’s gospel, Jesus goes one step further in telling his disciples that they will not only be in the same place as Jesus, i.e. not only “near” him, but “in” him: “On that day you will understand that I am in my Father and you in me and I in you.”

So, Jesus speaks about “that day…”! What day is he actually talking about? When will the disciples understand that they will be in Jesus and, together with Jesus, they will also be in the Father? In other words, when will the disciples understand that there is a relationship between all three of them?

We are told by Jesus that “that day” would be when the Father will send the Spirit of truth, which Jesus calls the “Advocate”. This Advocate, as promised by Jesus is like Jesus and will stay with the disciples “forever”. Thus what Jesus is saying about the Advocate (or the Spirit of Truth) also holds true for the Father and for the Son. In other words, Jesus is opening up the relationship that is to be found in the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) to the disciples as well. But to arrive to this relationship, one must “love Jesus” and “keep his commandments”. “To love” is not only a verb expressed in words, but it is also an action that creates a relationship – an affectionate and a respectful one. To “love Jesus” means that the disciple becomes eager to be in the company of Jesus, and through Jesus, he is also in the company of the Father and of the Spirit of Truth. Being eager to create (and maintain) this relationship means that one must receive the commandments of Jesus and keep them … not just memorising it, but also keeping it in his mind and heart through which he can show his love to Jesus. In doing so, one makes a dwelling place for God in his heart!

Therefore it all depends on our relationship with God and the recognition of the Spirit of Truth that is already dwelling with us and in us since we know both Jesus and the Father. Although Jesus is asking for our love, which in turn opens a door in our heart to make space for him, He is also offering us his love. The love that we show is something that reciprocates and generates love. It is not a one directional love but something that is both given and received at the same time. We are firstly loved by Jesus and he told us how much he loves us by going to the Father to prepare a place near him (Jesus) for us and by asking the Father to send us the Spirit of Truth.

He is asking for our love, which we can give not just by words, but also through our actions. In receiving our love, Jesus will then keep us with him and in him together with the Father and the Spirit of Truth.

“Lord, you love us so much that you want to create a relationship with us. Not only have you made us your disciples, but also you share with us the love that is between you, the Father and the Holy Spirit. Give us the wisdom and strength we need to truly love you and keep your commandments. 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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