"Sixth Sunday of Easter"
From The Desk of Deacon Ed
The Last Supper discourse in the Gospel of John (14: I - 17:26) is a farewell discourse. In today's Gospel, for example, Jesus says, "I am going away and I will come back to you". Christ consoles his disciples at the thought of his departure with a number of significant promises.
To one who loves him, Jesus promises that the Father and he "will come to him and make our dwelling with him". This dwelling begins in this life and reaches its perfection at the time of the parousia, the Second Coming of Jesus. Christ also sounds the note of joy because he is leaving to return to his Father, having completed the work of salvation assigned to him by the Father.
Another important promise is that the Father will send them the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, as their teacher. He will help them understand and put into practice the teachings of Jesus that they had received. This will be the ongoing role of the Holy Spirit for the church and for each Christian.
A third promise for Jesus' followers is peace. The biblical concept of peace involves far more than the absence of hostility. It is a positive term, denoting the fullness, the perfection of God's blessings. This indwelling of Father and Son in the followers of Jesus is one of the fruits of peace.
In today's Gospel Jesus says that "the Father is greater than I". Earlier in John's Gospel he said, "The Father and I are one". Since the Father sent Jesus to carry out the divine purposes, the Father can be seen as greater than the one sent.
Remembering is good and holy. It is of God's Spirit and where that Spirit works, and why Jesus said, "Now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe", so that when it happens you will remember. Could we believe if we did not remember?
Much later in Saint John's life, when he was exiled to the Isle of Patmos presumably because of his faith and because of the ways his remembering shaped both his own life and the lives of numerous others, he continued to remember and to imagine. What he remembered then was the way that Jesus had been their dream, the divine center of their lives. Jesus had been all they wished for, all they hoped they could be. That's what John remembered and was unwilling to forget. Let us all remember the promises of Christ and believe!
Your brother in Christ,