Jesus is the one through whom God speaks definitively to his people. Listening to Jesus and keeping his word leads to peace and fellowship.
Jesus goes on to say goodbye to his followers. And they must be listening very attentively in view of fondly recalling and keeping his word later. He is, after all, not only comforting them but also giving them instructions before he dies.
And so that neither trouble nor fear may take hold of his followers’ hearts, Jesus highlights the importance of love. ‘Love’ shows up five times in today’s Gospel reading and five more times in the rest of Jn 14. Keeping themselves in love with him is what matters, teaches Jesus.
Those who truly love Jesus cannot help keeping his word. And such heedful love further assures them of the Father’s love and forthwith makes him and Jesus dwell within them. They hear, then, the Father’s word while they hear Jesus. Also, with the Father and Jesus dwelling within them, they shall never be shaken.
And they should be even more courageous because of the Spirit, whom the Father will send in Jesus’ name. And at his pleading. The Spirit will also teach them everything, remind them of Jesus’ teaching, and will speak and stand up for them.
There is nothing, then, that should hinder Jesus’ followers from keeping their peace, or better, Jesus’ peace. For their peace is really the peace that he gives. It is not the peace that the powerful impose upon those they have vanquished, on victims of injustice and lies. Rather, it is the peace that comes from keeping the teaching that Jesus embodies, namely, that greatness lies in service. That being first means being the slave of all.
And if this is not so among us, his followers today, we will end up neither keeping Jesus’ word nor loving him.
Lord Jesus, make us unflagging in keeping your word and showing our love for you. Grant that, true to your word, we may never play the master (SV.EN XI:313) nor bite and devour one another. With the Holy Spirit guiding us, may we not read into, or out of, the Scriptures, our own conservative or liberal leanings. Do not let us burden others either with the baggage that comes from our culture, psychology or upbringing. And count us among those servants whom you will have sit at table in the new Jerusalem.
26 May 2019
Sixth Sunday of Easter (C)
Acts 15, 1-2. 22-29; Rev 21, 10-14. 22-23; Jn 14, 23-29