Homily for May 21, 2017: Sixth Sunday of Easter

Gospel John 14:15-21

Jesus said to his disciples: "If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows him. But you know him, because he remains with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him."

Ebanjelioa Joan 14:15-21

15 «Maite banauzue, beteko dituzue nire aginduak. 16 Nik Aitari eskatuko diot eta beste Laguntzaile bat emango dizue, beti zuekin izango dena, 17 egiaren Espiritua. Mundutarrek ezin dute hartu, ez baitute ikusten, ez ezagutzen; baina zuek ezagutzen duzue, zuengan bizi baita eta zuekin egongo betiko. 18 «Ez zaituztet umezurtz utziko, itzuliko naiz zuengana. 19 Laster munduak ez nau gehiago ikusiko; zuek, ordea, ikusiko nauzue, nik bizia baitut eta zuek ere biziko baitzarete. 20 Egun hartan ulertuko duzue ni Aitarekin bat eginda nagoela, zuek nirekin eta ni zuekin. 21 Nire aginduak onartu eta betetzen dituenak, horrexek nau maite. Ni maite nauena, berriz, nire Aitak maite izango du, eta nik ere maite izango dut eta agertuko natzaio berari».

The Spirit of Truth

Jesus is saying goodbye to his disciples. He sees them sad and dejected. Soon they will not have Him. Who will be able to fill the emptiness of their hearts? Up to now Jesus took care of them, defended them from the anger of the scribes and Pharisees, and was the only One who supported them in their weak and wavering faith, the One who helped and guided them in the process of discovering the truth of God, and finally initiated with them the building task of His great dream: the constructing a more human and humanizing community of brothers and sisters, the Kingdom of God.

Jesus now speaks to them passionately about the Spirit. He is not going to leave them as orphans. He personally will ask the Father to not to abandon them, and to give them “another Advocate” to “always be with them.” Jesus calls this advocate “the Spirit of truth.”

What lies behind these words of Jesus?

This “Spirit of truth” is not to be mistaken with a doctrine. This truth is not to be found in the books of the theologians or in documents of the hierarchy. It is something much deeper. Jesus says, “She lives with us and is in us.” She is breath, encouragement, strength, light, love ... that comes from the ultimate mystery of God.” We must welcome Her with a simple and trusting heart. This “Spirit of truth” does not make us “owners” of the truth. She does not come to us so that we can impose on others our faith or to control the orthodoxy of other people. She comes to us so that we do not become orphans, and She invites us to open ourselves to the truth of Jesus, by listening to Him, and accepting and living the Gospel.

This “Spirit of truth” does not make us “guardians” or “protectors” of the truth either, but witnesses. Our task is not to dispute, to fight or to defeat adversaries, but to live out the truth of the Gospel and “to love Jesus by keeping His commands.”

This “Spirit of truth” is within each one of us defending us against anything that can separate us from Jesus. She invites us to open ourselves in all simplicity to the mystery of a God, who is a Friend of life. Those seeking God with honesty and truth are not far from Him. Jesus once said: “Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.” It is true.

This “Spirit of truth” invites us to live in the truth of Jesus in the midst of a society where often “lie” is called “strategy”; “exploitation” is “business”; “irresponsibility” is “tolerance”; “injustice” is “new world order”; “capriciousness” is “freedom”; and the “lack of respect” is “sincerity.”

What sense will make the Church of Jesus if we let the “Spirit of truth” vanish from our communities? Who will save the Church, then, from self-deception, deviations and widespread mediocrity? Who will announce the Good News of Jesus in our society in need of much encouragement and hope?

 

Fr. Antonio's Blog

Reflections from Padre Antonio Egiguren, Vicar at the Cathedral of St. John's the Evangelist.


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