Reflection - Sunday, 17th May 2020

Published by Robert Faulkner on Fri, 15 May 2020 00:00
Sermons


Today’s readings can be found here.

Service in Isolation here

Spiritual Communion here



Reflection  - John 14:15 -21

The risen Christ continues to reassure his disciples. His main emphasis, while he is with the disciple, is to remind them that he is going away yet still he will be with them.

How can that happen? We may want to ask. How can Jesus physically leave his disciples and still remain living among them?

In last week's gospel reading, Philip questioned the possibility of 'seeing the Father'. Jesus reassures us that because of the love that exists between the Father and the Son, not only will we see God, but he will dwell in us at the same time. The coming of the Holy Spirit will make it possible.

 'If you love me, keep my commandment' (John 14:15). As followers, we must first be obedient to the commandment of Jesus. He commands us to love one another as he loves us. Obedience flows naturally out of our love for him. Obeying, God will bring us closer to him.

Sending a Helper

Jesus says that he will ask the Father to give us another Paraclete (John 14:16). Paraclete means advocate or helper. In Christianity, the term "Paraclete" most commonly refers to the Holy Spirit. In a court of law, an advocate is someone who will represent someone on trial, either to defend or intercede with the judge on their behalf.

Another translation for Paraclete is the comforter. It gives us an image of a situation where someone steps in to console an individual or family members in times of grief or need.

The advocate or the Spirit that Jesus is offering us will always be our counsellor, intercessor, comforter, and strength.

The advocate offers exactly what Jesus is offering.  To some extent, it is right to say that he is another Jesus. He will stay with the disciples as Jesus goes away. It is the same Jesus that is with us in our time of grief and sadness. He is going to see us through all the challenges and anxieties we as a nation are facing at present. With him, by our side and in us we will return to normal. We will meet in his name and as the body of Christ praising God and giving thanks.

The gospel reading also refers to the advocate as 'the spirit of truth'. In the forthcoming weeks, we will learn more about the Holy Spirit as both the Paraclete and the Spirit of Truth.

Those who are opposed to God will not recognise him, nor can they see him or know him. But if we know Jesus, we will be aware of his presence around us and in us. We will know what he commands us to do. We will see that he commands us to love God and to love one another. We will know that he commands us to show kindness and support for others during these testing time.

Let us pay attention to the promise that Jesus made to his disciples and what he promises us now; as his followers, he will not leave us orphaned or desolate. He is coming to be with us.

This promise is open to all who will believe and trust in him.

Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, will be one with all those who love him and keep his commandments. The world will not see Jesus, but we as his followers will see him because he is alive and through him, we will become alive. We will know absolutely that Jesus is in the Father and we are in him, and he is in us.

So, as we spend time reflecting on the gospel, what are your expectations?

  • Do you sometimes expect God to answer your prayers by making us immune from suffering?
  • Do you follow the commandments of Jesus?

 

Let us pray

God our redeemer,

 you have delivered us from the power of darkness

and brought us into the kingdom of your Son;

grant, that as by his death he has recalled us to life,

so, by his continual presence in us he may raise us to

eternal joy;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit

one God, now and for ever. Amen

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