May 22, 2022
John 14: 23-29
The Gospel today is part of Jesus’ farewell to his disciples and contains an incredible promise. Jesus is preparing his disciples for his departure. How confused they must have been after following him for these years, listening to him speak of the coming kingdom of God in a reality of empire building. Yet, the disciples needed to mature into the realization that the coming ‘kin-dom’ was demonstrated by how Jesus lived and interacted with both the marginalized and oppressed as well as with the wealthy and unjust. Jesus says, “If you love me, you will keep my word”.
What is that word? That word is Love, unconditional, gratuitous Love. The promise of our God is to dwell within us and once we recognize that Love is the evolutionary force in our Universe, leading all into fullness of life, peace reigns in spite of any situation around us. Jesus promises “a peace the world cannot give,” even in the midst of his own approaching death. This is a peace that dwells more deeply within when we know we are loved unconditionally always and forever. Wow! What an amazing gift!
How aware am I? How aware are you, each day of this gift? I had the good fortune of knowing a couple of my great grandparents and my four grandparents were a significant part of my growing up, supporting my parents. So when I reflect on the gift of life and remember my ancestors, I am aware of the long line of human beings as well as the environmental realities that converged to bring me into being. I remember, too, the people who believed in me and loved me and helped me thrive. Ask yourself: have I experienced being loved unconditionally? Take time to reflect on the people and situations in your life that have taught you about loving. Then, gratitude becomes the best prayer.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” How often in these past years have we felt troubled by the situations around us: the sickness, death and obstruction of ‘normal’ life brought on by Covid, the political unrest in our country and around the world, the many increasing experiences of racism, the widespread forced migration of so many human beings seeking a safer life, and now, the horrifying war in Ukraine.
Jesus promises his disciples will not be left alone: “the Advocate, the Holy Spirit will teach them everything.” God’s own Spirit was with them and is with us today. So let us keep his word and strive to love as he did, unconditionally and gratuitously. This is our call. This is our challenge. The goodness of our God promises we will come to know that peace that Jesus bequeathed to his disciples.
John 14: 23-29
Jesus said to Judas (not Iscariot), “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.
“I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, `I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe.”
The Gospel of the Lord.