Sunday, May 26
Sixth Sunday of Easter
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.”
Who of us hasn’t required an advocate from time-to-time? Someone that can help guide us through the journeys of our lives. Well, today’s passage is part of Jesus’ Farewell Discourse to His disciples on the night before His death. Jesus was assuring the disciples that even though He was going away, His departure would not be an ending. Throughout the Farewell Discourse, Jesus teaches the disciples that His time of “advocacy” is coming to an end and He is handing it over to them to continue the work. It will not be easy, they are warned; they will encounter intense opposition as Jesus did. But how will they be able to face this most daunting task?
As Jesus was preparing His disciples for what was to come, He told them that if they loved Him, they would rejoice that He was going to the Father. However, Jesus also promised not to leave His disciples orphaned. Just as God had sent Jesus into the world, so Jesus had asked that the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, be sent into the world to continue His work after His ministry had ended. Jesus assures us that with the Holy Spirit we will never be abandoned, even in the midst of the loss, pain, and sorrow that are part of this broken world.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” God dwells in our souls, eager to guide us to that peace. The question is: Will we trust Him? Friends let us reflect today on what a blessing it is to have the Holy Spirit in our lives as our Paraclete…our Comforter, our Encourager, our Counselor, and our Advocate!
Deacon Paul Zemanek