As we celebrate the Sixth Sunday of Easter our readings continue to highlight on the life of the Risen Lord. As we approach Pentecost Sunday, we shift our focus to the anticipation of the Holy Spirit’s coming. Jesus mentions in today’s Gospel that He will send the Father to send another Advocate who will remain with us, and this Advocate is none other than the Holy Spirit, the Advocate. Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as the “Spirit of Truth,” and he mentions that the world is unable to receive the Holy Spirit. As the Church today we are living in what we can refer to as the “Age of the Holy Spirit” hence today as we celebrate the sixth Sunday of Easter it is important for us to examine whether we are ready to accept the complete truth that comes with the Holy Spirit which Jesus referred to as the “Spirit of Truth” If we are worldly and hold onto worldly beliefs and values, we will not be open to receiving the Holy Spirit. However, if we are able to recognize the falsehoods and misguided values present in the world, we will be more inclined to reject them and accept the Holy Spirit with its many truths. Additionally, being receptive to the arrival of the Holy Spirit grants us access to the most significant Advocate we can ever have.
The Holy Spirit serves as the Advocate, implying that she is the sole helper we require and this gives us access to every grace we need in life. We are all invited today to take some time and think about how Jesus’ promise to His Apostles has come to fruition and how you too can receive this promise today. Jesus in the Gospel of today continues to deliver His farewell discourse and preparing his disciples for his departure and the coming of the Holy Spirit who will be with us up to the end of the world.
In the readings of today Jesus reiterates his favourite them of LOVE. The Gospel passage begins and ends with love. In v. 15 Jesus declares that if his disciples love him, they will keep his commandments. We may ask ourselves today “What commandments is Jesus talking about?” Famously, Jesus gives only a single commandment in John which says “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13.34-35). He reiterates it again when he says “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:12-13). We see, then, the overwhelming, repetitive, circular emphasis on love. Hence our invitation today is for all of us to be men and women of love. Just as Bill Coffin’s said to. Christians: “If we fail in love, we fail in everything.”
It is worth noting that Jesus gives one commandment: to love. Therefore, judgment and eternal life begin now. At the end of each day, and during each moment of each day, there is only one question to ask oneself: “In what ways did I or did I not love today?” As you reflect upon that, judgment happens. Where you did not love, there lies judgment.
Remember that Pentecost Sunday is only two weeks away, so we need to prepare for it by praying to the Holy Spirit and eagerly anticipating its arrival.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created and You shall renew the face of the earth.