Saturday, April 30, 2016

Sunday Reflections May 1, 2016


by achristianpilgrim
(A biblical refection on THE SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER [YEAR C] – 1 May 2016)
Gospel Reading: John 14:23-29 
First Reading: Acts 15:1-2,22-29; Psalms: Psalm 67:2-3,5-6,8; Second Reading: Revelation 21:10-14,22-23 
The Scripture Text
Jesus answered him, “If a man loves Me, he will keep My words, and My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent Me. 
These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. You heard Me say to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place, you may believe.”  (John 14:23-29 RSV) 
Jesus sought to comfort His disciples as He prepared them for the pain of Good Friday. Yes, He would leave them; but they would not alone. Those who loved Him could expect both Him and His Father to dwell in them. The Holy Spirit would help them to remember everything Jesus had taught. Jesus promised that He would leave them with His peace, a peace that St. Paul would later describe as passing “all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).
Jesus wanted His followers to believe in these promises: And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place, you may believe.” (John 14:29). As always. Jesus stressed the necessity of faith. Once the disciples believed in Jesus’ words, they could expect His promises to be fulfilled. The promise of the indwelling Trinity stands at the very heart of the Christian life. It is the fruit of the crucifixion, the very reason why Jesus suffered and died.
How do we build our faith so that we can claim this prize? Jesus ask us to love Him (John 14:23). Love blossoms as we come to know someone intimately. Love follows knowledge, and the knowledge we gain of Jesus is directly proportional to the time we spend with Him. We will fall more in love with Jesus as we meet Him in the Gospel, as we adore Him in the Eucharist, and as we hear Him speak to us in prayer.
How will we know when He is dwelling in us? We will experience peace, even in difficult trials. Like the good Samaritan, we will love and care for our neighbors because they are our sisters and brothers in Jesus. As we go about our day, we will hear the quiet, inner voice of the Holy Spirit, prompting us to do what the Lord wills in each situation we encounter. Jesus did not leave us. He has risen and lives among us, and He wants to make His home in us.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the life You give us through Your Son and through Your Holy Spirit. May the fire of Your love warm us as You dwell in us. Amen.
Jakarta, 30 April 2016 
A Christian Pilgrim

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