Sixth Sunday in Easter
John 14: 23 - 29
Jesus said to his disciples:
If anyone loves me he will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we shall make our home with him.
Those who do not love me do not keep my words.
and my word is not my own:
it is the word of the one who sent me.
I have said these things to you
while still with you;
but the Advocate, the Holy Spirit,
whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you everything
and remind you of all I have said to you.
Peace I bequeath to you,
my own peace I give you,
a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
you heard me say:
I am going away, and shall return.
If you loved me you would have been glad to know that I am going to the Father,
for the Father is greater than I.
I have told you this now before it happens,
so that when it does happen you may believe.
If you love me you will keep my word...these words are a simple statement of cause and effect. Loving Jesus has profound effects on behaviour.
Growing in the love of Jesus changes everything, not necessarily dramatically or suddenly, but absolutely certainly. His revelation of himself to the disciple who seeks him is accompanied by growth in self-knowledge and growth in virtue.
The light of the love of Jesus lingers on those areas within which do not reflect his light. Allowing his light to penetrate these darker parts can be painful and humbling, but as love fills the darkness it will lead to changes in behaviour and attitude. The gift of the journey into these deep regions is peace, the “peace the world cannot give”, and a greater capacity to love and to be filled with the love of Jesus.
The effort lies in being continually open to Christ. Prayer is at the heart of openness; it opens the door to the encounter with him, whatever form it may take or whenever it may happen, within a time of prayer or at some other time.