21 May, 2017: Sixth Sunday of Easter
Christ as Lord in your heart
Readings: Acts 8: 5-8; Ps 66; 1 Pt 3: 15-18;
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.”
In John's Gospel, the sense of loss among the apostles is palpable as Jesus prepares to take leave of them. Peter asks: "Lord where are you going?" (John 13:36) and "Lord, why can I not follow you now?" (John 13:37). To this poignant longing Jesus responds: "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 forever" (John 14:15).
Then Jesus identifies the new Advocate (Paraclete) as the Spirit of truth, unknown to the world but an abiding presence within the disciples (John 14:17). This then is the foundation of our trust in the guidance of the Spirit.
The new Advocate is not a kind of a proxy sent to replace the absent Lord: on the contrary, it assures his presence as well as the Father's. They will "come to" the one who remains faithful to Jesus' word, and they will dwell "with" him. Not with those who do not love the Lord and do not keep his word. The Paraclete dwells in everyone who loves Jesus and keeps the commandments, and so his presence is not limited by time (14:15-17).
The Paraclete is just as present in the modern disciples of Jesus as he was in the first generation. No one should think that Jesus has abandoned his Church in our times.
From: The Advocate Gives Us A Reason For Our Hope - Biblical Reflection for 6th Sunday of Easter by Father Thomas Rosica, CSB