Gospel Reflection May 22 – Msgr. Hendricks
Sunday, May 22
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.”
This portion of the gospel of John is described as the Farewell discourse of Jesus to His disciples. In it Jesus is preparing his disciples for His departure. In using easy phrases that we have heard before, “Whoever loves me will keep my words,” and “Peace I leave you, my peace I give you,” Jesus assures them that He indeed will leave them but he will not abandon them. His presence will remain through their faith in Him and to make that faith concrete they must keep His words and do the deeds they have seen Him do.
Jesus promises also that He will lead them home as a shepherd leads His sheep.
Jesus then promises them the Advocate the Holy Spirit will continue the presence of Jesus to guide and strengthen them. This is the insurance that will help them to understand just what type of kingdom they will see in the future. It will be greater than what they imagined all along. With this faith in Him and the gifts he leaves, the disciples can now get on with the missionary work of preaching and teaching. That is exactly what they do.
We have been the beneficiaries of this gift of the Holy Spirit and the presence of Jesus in a new and transformed way. His gifts of peace and love guide us now.