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Sixth Sunday of Easter

May 25, 2019

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord,

and my Father will love him and we will come to him.

Alleluia, Alleluia.


A reading from the holy Gospel according to 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


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 transforming power of the Holy Spirit on the glorious feast of Pentecost.   This period of nine days of prayer 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 before the decent of the Holy Spirit.  For John, at the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, the Son of God is glorified, the Holy Spirit is sent forth, and the Church is born from the side of Christ as the instrument of God’s mercy and salvation!

The power of Christ’s Death and Resurrection is proclaimed by Christ himself 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 with a keen awareness that Jesus is present, and that the Loving Father will transform this suffering and death into healing and life, as He did for His crucified Son through his 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 question: “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 disciple’s life must be informed by the Gospel.  By this daily discipline Christ’s Word instructs, guides and transforms the life of each Christian.  For 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.”

By this sacred reading and praying of God’s Word which has been called from ancient times Lectio Divina, the disciple opens his/her heart to God’s 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 divine tranquility, Christ’s peace.  The disciple is never alone because Christ lives in us.  In living, and moving and having our being in Christ, we live in the Peace of Christ!


Monsignor Joseph Marino


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