Jesus wants us to be his intimate lovers, proven so through our keeping of his word. He seeks to share with us, through the Holy Spirit, his Father’s love and genuine peace.
In the first place, Jesus affirms that to love him truly means to carry out his word. He then adds that his Father will love those with observant love and that he and the Father will come to them and will make their dwelling with them. There is no better way for them to become intimate disciples. Jesus teaches us once again that those who hear God’s word and act on it are his immediate and intimate relatives.
Intimacy with Jesus will reach its fullness only in heaven. Nevertheless, it starts here on earth. We are given here and now a foretaste of “what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.”
Without doubt, Jesus is not physically at our side, but he promises to be with us really. He assures us:
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.
We, then, are not orphans. Through the Holy Spirit, we hear the word of the Father who speaks through the Word made flesh that dwells among us still. We can be, while on earth, Jesus’ intimate followers. Just like Mary, the sister of Martha, we can do the only one thing needed, namely, to sit beside the Lord at his feet—something intimate friends do—to listen to his word, by which to live. Taught by the Spirit, we will no longer make use of cleverness or sophisticated intelligence “to evade and distort the clear meaning” of Jesus’ word (J.L. McKenzie).
And if we are steeped in Jesus’ word and committed to keeping it, ours will be the peace that Jesus gives. Not as the world gives does he give it to us.
Worldly peace comes through the destruction of enemies on the part of the more powerful. It refers mainly to physical well-being and affluent life.
In contrast, “the peace that Jesus gives is grounded in God and not in circumstances.” It is the calmness and confidence that arise in those who enjoy intimacy with God, even when they are in the midst of tribulations or when they are giving up their bodies and shedding their blood. It enables exiles to dream of the holy city.
It is the great peace St. Vincent de Paul knew (Robert P. Maloney, C.M., on trust in Providence). Because of it, false brothers did not frighten him.
Lord Jesus, feed us with the word of life and the bread from heaven, so that we may dwell in you and you in us.
May 1, 2016
6th Sunday of Easter (C)
Acts 15, 1-2. 22-29; Rev 21, 10-14. 22-23; Jn 14, 23-29