Resources - 6th Sunday of Easter
A: John 14:15-21 - Sending of the Holy Spirit - 6th Sunday of Easter
passage follows on from our Gospel read last Sunday and we hear how Jesus is preparing
his disciples for the time when he is no longer physically present. There is great
love and reassurance in his words because Jesus knows of the fears the disciples
hold. Jesus insists that "if you love me you will keep my commandments"
here Jesus is reminding them that he is leaving them with the guidance they will
need to make their decisions in life, when they are tested or their faith is challenged
- love God and keep the Commandments.
passage is emersed in Trinitarian language and so it can sound as if a circular
argument is being presented - Jesus is in the Father and the Advocate or Paraclete
comes from the Father and from Jesus. Jesus is assuring his disciples that even
when he is no longer physically present, God's Spirit of truth will remain with
them and stand by them in times of trial. I will not leave you orphans - Jesus
uses this term knowing that orphans in the 1st Century Mediterranean culture had
no voice in this honour and shame culture. They had lost their 'honour' with the
death of their parents and frequently had no one to speak for them so that they
could regain their 'honour.' When Jesus is with the disciples they receive their
'honour' in the society through his charismatic presence and the power of his
leadership so when Jesus is no longer with them, the Paraclete will maintain their
Jesus is continually
present in our world today. Most of us would immediately think of Eucharist and
how Jesus is present there, unfortunately many would only name the presence of
Christ in the Eucharist species of bread and wine. The documents of the 2nd Vatican
Council remind us of God's presence in a variety of ways. Sacrosanctum Concilium
7 clearly states that Christ is present in the people gathered, in the Presider,
in God's Word along with the Eucharistic species, so if we are going to genuflect
to Christ's presence in the tabernacle, perhaps we should also genuflect to God's
presence in the people, to the Presider, and to the Word. Sometimes it is difficult
to remember in our dealings with people that Christ is present in each one. If
this reality was at the forefront of our minds we would be most courteous and
loving to all we met, including those people who make our lives difficult at times.
This is a challenge for each one of us from today's Gospel - to love God in all
those around us.
Year A: Jn14:23-29
- 6th Sunday of Easter
Gospel continues the teaching of Jesus in what is known as his "farewell
discourse" in John's Gospel. This lengthy discourse is Jesus' way of reassuring
the disciples that they will manage without him. Jesus reminds us that to enjoy
God's presence all we need to do is keep God's word. Perhaps the easiest way to
summarise God's word is to love God and to "love one another as I have loved
you." Easy to summarise but not as easy to live out. We are assured by Jesus
that if we do so, God will be with us. When I journey with people through special
times in their lives, I often speak to them about God being present in our lives.
This can be a difficult concept for some people to accept. They frequently name
special times as 'coincidence' rather than the action of God. It takes faith to
recognise that God loves you enough to want to be in your life. To be in our life
means that we have some insight into the Trinitarian relationship.
as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are so closely enmeshed in each other, God
is offering us a taste of this divine relationship by seeking relationship with
us. It really is an experience of Emmanuel - God-with-us. It is up to us to decide
if we want God in our lives. Unfortunately too many people seem to have filled
their lives with the busyness of this world that God has been squeezed out. When
we choose to accept God's invitation into relationship our lives are filled in
a different way. When we have to face up to the difficulties of life, we have
the reassurance that we do not do this alone. Jesus promised that we would have
the Holy Spirit to remind us of God's love and to continue teaching us.
of the most exciting aspects of this Gospel is the promise of God's peace. "Peace
I bequeath to you, a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you."
How amazing is that! God's peace helps us resolve the conflicts in our lives.
Sometimes it is seems easier to walk away from conflict and we can only resolve
conflict when we know that it is God's peace that is being offered. This helps
each of us to form right relationships in family, with friends, neighbours, work
colleagues, neighbourhoods, almost any exchange that we have with others has the
option for peace - that is God's gift to you and me.
Ministry Resources 6th Sunday of Easter
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