Gospel Reflection: Sixth Sunday of Easter
Malvern Minute

 

SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
MAY 1, 2016
 
ALLELUIA
Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord,
and my Father will love him and we will come to him.
ALLELUIA
 
The Gospel of Saint John 14: 23 – 29
Jesus said to his disciples:
Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.

Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me.


“I have told you this while I am with you.  The
Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.  Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.  You heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’  If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I.  And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe.”
The Gospel of the Lord
 
REFLECTION
This Thursday is the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord and a Holy Day of Obligation on which the Christian community assembles for the Eucharist celebration like it does on Sunday.  Ascension Thursday is also the beginning of the prayerful preparation for the coming of the Holy Spirit on the glorious Feast of Pentecost.   This period of nine days is the first of the Novenas of the Church.  However, this does not hold St. John back in today’s Gospel from already anticipating the gifts that the Holy Spirit showers continuously upon the members of the Body of Christ: Knowledge, Understanding and Peace.  In Saint John’s Gospel, unlike the Gospel of Saint Luke there is no delay of fifty days until the decent of the Holy Spirit.  At the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, the Son of God is glorified, the Holy Spirit is sent forth, and the Church is born as the instrument of God’s mercy and salvation!
 
The power of Christ’s Death and Resurrection is proclaimed by Christ this Sunday in His words: Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraidPeace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
 
Christians never need to be afraid because the Risen Lord has conquered sin and death by His Death and Resurrection.   The one who embraces Jesus as the Living Lord abides in a spiritual milieu of Christ’s Peace.  That does not mean that a Christian does not suffer physically and spiritually.  The Peace of Christ means that in the midst of suffering the faithful disciple endures the suffering with a keen awareness that Jesus is ever present, and that the Loving Father will transform suffering and death into healing and life, as He did for His Son on the Cross, and gifted Him and all the Baptized with Resurrection!  
 
How then does one grow in the Peace of Christ – how does one live in a state of Peace?  Jesus gives the answer to this: Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
 
The disciple can only keep the Word of Christ to the degree that the disciple knows the Word of Christ.  To know the Word, one must read, ponder and embrace the Gospel each day.  A true disciple’s life becomes informed by the Gospel that he reads daily.  The Gospel, Christ’s Word instructs, guides and transforms the life of a disciple.  It is the Holy Spirit that empowers us to read and grow in praying the Holy Scriptures: The Advocate, the Holy Spiritwill teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.
 
In this sacred reading and praying the Scriptures (Lectio Divina), the disciples opens his/her heart to God and invites into themselves the Divine Presence: we (the Father & the Son)will come to him and make our dwelling with him.  In this sacred exchange the disciple and God grow in intimate communion with each other – a true and real oneness grows.  By this sacred activity, the Christian learns to place more and more confidence in God who never abandons His servant.  In this daily growth in faith, the Christian experiences the divine tranquility that results.  Like Saint Paul, the disciple no longer lives in isolation but Christ lives in the disciple.  In living, and moving and having our being in Christ, we live in the Peace of Christ!
 
 
WE BELIEVE, AND THEREFORE SPEAK (2 Corinthians 4:13)
Consider joining the Men and Women of Malvern by deepening your personal relationship with Jesus and your commitment as a disciple through a weekend retreat.  See our Web Site for details: MalvernRetreat.com
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