VI Sunday of Easter

VI Sunday of Easter

Gio, 14 Mag 20 Lectio Divina - Anno A

Jn 14: 15-21

Love and hate are polar opposites in the cultural world of Jesus. The disciples of Jesus demonstrate love when they are attached to others in the community. They evidence hate when they are detached from one another and are separated. This understanding of the role that love and hate have in the life of the church is clearly stated by Jesus in Luke 14:26: “If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” This is reasonable and only possible if love and hate are defined by being attached and detached from one another in a community. The discipleship demands that we join a new family, the Church, and do, all we can, to remain connected to one another in faith.

Our call as Christians is to love one another. At times, this is hard work, but it is worth the effort. This love for one another will ultimately be our greatest witness to the world. In John 13:35, Jesus says that it is by their love for one another that the world will know his disciples.

By meditating on this passage, the promise of Jesus becomes evident. If we love one another, God will love us. This love for each other will result in a witness of Jesus to the world. 

The first reading witnesses and is obvious that the Church continues to grow. It grows through the preaching of the Gospel, the persecution of believers, the coming of the Holy Spirit. It grows besides all the challenges faced especially during this time of the pandemic. The good news is announced that the believers come into a closer relationship with God.

 As Philip evangelizes the people of Samaria, they come to believe.  The constant enemies of the Jews accept the message of the Messiah, the Anointed One, and the Christ. Philip baptizes them after hearing the Good News. Peter and John travel to Samaria to continue the initiation of the Samaritans who have accepted the faith. The two apostles lay hands upon the believers and pray and the people are filled with the Holy Spirit. The number of believers continues to grow through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

 As a response to the Acts of the Apostles, we hear the psalm verse proclaim, “Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.” As more and more people accept the message of Jesus and are filled with the Holy Spirit (Who gifts people with joy), there is reason to cry out with joy. Joy is a mark of believers.

  

In the Second Reading, Peter reminds the Christians that they should live lives of joy even amid trial and persecution. If they are called upon to suffer for being anointed by the Anointed One then they should do so with a clear conscience, without bad-mouthing their persecutors. For as Peter says, “it is better to suffer for doing good if that is what God wills, rather than for doing evil.”

 And Jesus, in the Gospel, reminds the disciples that just as He has come to instruct and teach His followers, another “Paraclete” will come after He is gone. Paraclete means “advocate” or “instructor.” Advocates take the role to defend and help those who were facing trial and to instruct their clients in the matters at hand.    

 If you love me you will keep my commandments.” Do we love Jesus? Do we demonstrate to the world that our love for Jesus is real? Where do our commitments lie? Is our life a living witness to the power of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth? Do those around us know that we are Christians by our love for one another and for others? 

May we all be faithful to the Christ, the Anointed One, and the Messiah. May we continue to be strengthened by the constant outpouring of the gifts of the Holy Spirit so we can live lives of witnessing to the faith. As always, we pray in the name of Jesus, our Prophet, our King, and our Priest, and Who is living and reigning with You and the Holy Spirit, our one and only GOD, forever.