Sixth Sunday of Easter
Reading 1 Acts 8:5-8, 14-17
Responsorial Psalm Ps 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20
Reading 2 1 Pt 3:15-18
Gospel Jn 14:15-21
The setting is Holy Thursday, before the last supper. Jesus knows what is next yet instead of focusing on His gruesome death to come He lovingly, passionately reassures the disciples that He loves them; that there is a Way. He is the Way. And that He will send an Advocate to help and guide them. They are listening and watching intently. Wondering what He means; predicting future events of coming and going and returning again; of knowing the Father and the Father being in Him and He in the Father. I am sure wondering, confused. “What does this all mean? This is crazy!”
He assures them that He loves them. “If you love me, keep my commandments”. Do I love Jesus or do I just say so? Do I only say so, only believe so, or in addition live that love? What are His commandments? God gives us ten in both the Old and New Testaments. Jesus sums them up by calling us “to love one another as He has loved us”, and “to know, love and serve God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves”. He is Love. Love is the commandment. And God is Love.
How can I live this in my human weakness? God made man and “it was good”. We have a Helper, given in Baptism; an Advocate. Jesus says the Advocate will be with us always to fill us with the Truth. This so that we may Love the way He loves, speak the way He speaks, think and desire what He thinks and desires, and choose to behave as He behaves in the light of the Father’s Will not our own will.
How do I hear the voice of the Advocate? Do I take time each day, perhaps in the morning and evening, to hear the voice of Jesus, to be quiet, to listen, and to pray? Do I know the commandments so that I may ask the Holy Spirit to fill me with God’s will and the strength to follow them, reflect on them daily and to evaluate my day against them? Do I do this so that I may become the special gift God intended in this Life for others? Do I do this and be truly free, happy and live in eternity with God forever?
Do I love others as He loved us? As I love myself? Do I love myself? What does that look like and mean? How does that show up in my daily life? If I don’t love myself as the Father loves me, can I love others as He intends?
Jesus says “I will not leave you orphaned, I am with you always”. Do God’s will to the best of your ability and then trust and let God do the rest. The world will reject you when you follow the Truth, His commandments. Trust and “Be not Afraid.”