The gospel passage for last Sunday was from the 13th chapter of John’s gospel. It picks up just after the departure of Judas from the last supper. Jesus spoke of it now being the time of his glory. “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.” (John 13:31). And then Jesus gave his apostles and us a new commandment to “love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (John 13:34).
After three, long years of public ministry, with his apostles alongside, Jesus takes this moment during the Last Supper, to remind them of the importance of love… and to give them a parting gift before he experiences his passion and death.
In today’s gospel passage, taken from the 14th chapter of John’s gospel, Jesus gives his apostles and you and me his peace.
Jesus reminds us that if we love him, we will keep his word, and God will love us. Think about that. If you love God and keep his word, he will make his home with you.
This is the indwelling of God in the soul of each believer that takes place at our Baptism. Father, Son and Holy Spirit prepare a dwelling place within you where they take up residence. We are not left on this earthly pilgrimage as orphans, but as sons and daughters of the Most High Who is always with us.
But, if we do not love God, we will not keep His word. We will not want to be with God.
Jesus is preparing the apostles for his coming departure. He encourages and reassures them that though he is leaving them, the Father will send an advocate to remind them of all Jesus taught.
We will celebrate this liturgically over the next two Sundays… The Lord’s Ascension to Heaven and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
Here’s the good news. Our God has entered into His creation, our history, to save us, heal and restore us, and to equip us to be who He intended us to be.
Although the Lord will leave, the Holy Spirit will be sent to be with us, to empower us to love the Lord, to keep his word, to attain the end for which we’ve been made.
The Lord is with you. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit have made their home in you. This is the real and abiding peace that can be yours for the asking.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27).
We are told that the old heaven and earth will pass away, but God’s Word will never pass. That the Lord will not leave us orphans, but will send the Holy Spirit to be with us, to guide, to protect, to correct and to comfort… to set us apart for holiness. This is the peace the Lord offers.
This peace is lasting. It does not fly away when times get tough. It remains with us when we suffer a loss. It is there even when we struggle in our faith because we know the Lord will forgive our failings, our sins. We can count on the love of God for us. This is a peace that abides in a relationship where love is secure.
Now that is the Peace and Salvation that only God can give. This is the peace that this world needs to receive and embrace so urgently. How is the world to receive this Peace? What is our role?
Do you want to know this Peace? The Lord offers it to you. Say yes to the Lord this day and every day!
But then what? Then we have a responsibility. We are people on a mission, called to then pass it on to those you love and all people the Lord places in your life.
Glory awaits all who believe in and love the Lord. Pass it on.
Into the deep…
Image Credit: “Road to Emmaus” (detail) by Robert Zünd | Public domain via Wikimedia Commons
Deacon Bickerstaff is available to speak at your parish or event. Be sure to check out his Speaker Page to learn more. Into the Deep is a regular feature of the The Integrated Catholic Life™.
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