Sixth Sunday of Easter (A), May 25, 2014 – Acts 8, 5-8. 14-17; 1 Pt 3, 15-18; Jn 14, 15-21
Ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope (1 Pt 3, 15)
Jesus does not leave his own orphans, defenseless. In imitation of the Master, the disciples do not leave defenseless any neighbor either.
Those chosen by Jesus reciprocate his love with a love that is affective and effective. Proving themselves his lovers through their observance of his commandments, they are given another defender or advocate, the Spirit of truth.
The Spirit is always with those who belong to Jesus. Community life leads to mutual understanding and acceptance, to an ever increasing intimacy with Jesus, to a behavior that is connatural to the life coming from the Spirit. The Spirit’s presence guarantees the perceptible and vivifying presence of Jesus and the Father and also, for sure, of the divine love that is tender, warm and revealing.
Having the Lord ever before them, Jesus’ beloved are never shaken; they have all the defense they need and will ever need. They need not play fast and loose with the truth to protect it. They practice what they preach.
But do Jesus’ reassuring words really encourage me? Is not my paraphrase of them merely a pious platitude? If reading or hearing this Sunday’s gospel does not touch me, is it not due to—among other reasons—a certain familiarity that breeds neglect, and even contempt, and to the routine that turns me into “a parrot” at prayer?
And it would be even worse if the reason why I feel defenseless is that I, wrapped up in myself, do not find anyone to defend. That would be as lamentable as not feeling really forgiven because I do not forgive someone who has offended me, not experiencing peace and reconciliation because, denying forgiveness to my neighbor, I let something stand between God and me (Dag Hammarkjöld).
Like Philip, those who love Jesus do not put obstacles to grace. They inspire others with hope and are thus seen as truly knowing the Lord in whom they put their trust. By attending to persons in misery lying at the gate, they are revealed as Jesus’ intimate friends who are so anchored in the Gospel that they do not lose hope even if it seems to them that everything is headed for disaster (CM Common Rules II).
Jesus’ own are unlike those who would not heed Mosaic and prophetic teachings even should someone rise from the dead to warn them about it. Rather, true disciples live up to the Master’s instruction that they do, in his memory and according to his example, what he has done for them. They thus give witness to the resurrection of the one who died on the cross, their only hope.
Ross Reyes Dizon