Sixth Sunday of Easter

May 13, 2020 | Gospel Reflections

John 14: 15 – 21

Sunday Reflection by Sister Barbara Barry, SNDdeN

Happy Easter! May the joy and hope of the resurrection give you strength during these difficult days.

Over the years I have become more conscious of the fact that our scriptures, rather than being an historical recounting of events, are also the expression of the lived experience of the faith of a believing community. So when we read this chapter of John’s gospel, it is not just telling us what Jesus said to his apostles prior to his death and resurrection. It gives us an insight into how the apostles and early followers experienced the resurrection and were living it out. These verses from John express the intimacy of the relationship between God and the believers. The author is not just remembering that Jesus said an Advocate would come to be with them and in them or that he said “you are in me and I am in you.” The apostles and early believers experienced that and lived out of that understanding. That is why they could come together and break bread. That is why they shared all that they had with one another. It is why they had the courage to preach publicly when their words were not always accepted. That is why they healed the sick and inspired each other to live holy lives.

Can we (I) or do we (I) truly live this way today? Do I really believe that God is in me and I am in God – or perhaps, more importantly, do I truly believe that God is in you and you are in God? Does that belief or understanding influence my decisions and my actions? Does it influence my choices? Christianity took hold because the first followers lived communally, caring for each other, believing that the resurrected Christ lived in each one of them through the Spirit. This is still true today. We have certainly seen examples of this in the ways that many have been supportive of others in this pandemic. My prayer is that we will always try to lift one another up, that we will make our choices according to the common good and not personal gain, that we will truly care for our sisters and brothers, knowing and believing that that the Risen One is in each of us.

John 14: 15 – 21

Jesus said to his disciples:
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
And I will ask the Father,
and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always,
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,
because it neither sees nor knows him.
But you know him, because he remains with you,
and will be in you.
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
In a little while the world will no longer see me,
but you will see me, because I live and you will live.
On that day you will realize that I am in my Father
and you are in me and I in you.
Whoever has my commandments and observes them
is the one who loves me.
And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled.
You have faith in God; have faith also in me.
In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.
If there were not,
would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back again and take you to myself,
so that where I am you also may be.
Where I am going you know the way.”
Thomas said to him,
“Master, we do not know where you are going;
how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
If you know me, then you will also know my Father.
From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said to him,
“Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time
and you still do not know me, Philip?
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own.
The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.
Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,
or else, believe because of the works themselves.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father.”

Meet Sister Barbara Barry, SNDdeN

Sister Barbara is a native Bostonian and entered the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in 1969 at Ipswich, Massachusetts. She has ministered primarily in secondary education administration and currently serves on the Leadership Team for the US East West Province.