To be celebrated on 26th May 2019
Gospel Text John 14:23-29
vs.23 Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone loves me he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make our home in him.
vs.24 Those who do not love me do not keep my words. And my word is not my own; it is the word of the one who sent me.
s.25 I have said these things to you while still with you;
vs.26 but the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you.
vs.27 Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you, a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
vs.28 You hear me say: I am going away, and shall return. If you loved me you would have been glad to know that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.
vs.29 I have told you this now before it happens, so that when it does happen you may believe.”
We have four commentators available from whom you may wish to choose .
Michel DeVerteuil : A Trinidadian Holy Ghost Priest, director of the Centre of Biblical renewal .
Thomas O’Loughlin: Professor of Historical Theology, University of Wales, Lampeter.
Sean Goan: Studied scripture in Rome, Jerusalem and Chicago and teaches at Blackrock College and works with Le Chéile.
Donal Neary SJ: Editor of The Sacred Heart Messenger
Michel de Verteuil
Lectio Divina,The Year of Luke
General Textual comments
In this second extract from the last discourse of Jesus we see various aspects of the spiritual life being brought out. The aspects are interconnected, but you can look at them separately if you like.
To understand the full force of verses 23 and 24 you must go to the previous verse, which is not included in this Sunday’s reading, where one of the apostles asks Jesus why he will not show himself to the whole world. Jesus’ response is to explain that following him involves an inner relationship which cannot be bypassed.
The second half of verse 24, and verses 25 and 26, show us Jesus facing the fact that much of his teaching was unfinished, and still more was misunderstood.
In verse 27 Jesus speaks of how he shares his inner peace with his followers.
In verse 28 he expresses how he is experiencing his imminent death.
In verse 29 he returns to the theme of the existing relationship between the disciples and himself, and contrasts this with how they will experience him after his death and resurrection.
Lord, many people in our country feel alienated,
they would like to be different from who they are,
to have lived at a different time, or belonged to a different culture.
We pray that they may come to love someone like Jesus
who will assure them that their stories, far from being drab or uninteresting, are sacred stories,
and that they need not feel ashamed of who they are
because you, the great Lord and God, you feel at home with them.
Lord, the apostles often felt frustrated with Jesus;
they could not understand why he spent so much time with them alone.
They wanted him to hurry and let the whole world know what he was teaching them.
At one time, we too thought that the message of Jesus could be packaged
into a few brief commandments and marketed by radio and television.
Now we know from our experience that becoming his followers
is a personal journey that each one of us must make for ourselves.
We get a feel for the man Jesus and gradually
we learn to love his words so that they sink into our consciousness,
until one day we know that you have come into our lives
and whatever happens you will never leave us again.
Lord, we could know all the teachings of Jesus by heart,
but if we don’t have a personal relationship with him we will not keep them.
Lord, when Church leaders or State leaders become cruel or violent
it is because they have come to think that they are indispensable
and have forgotten that they are only your instruments.
Teach them to be like Jesus,
aware that their word is not theirs but the word of the one who sent them;
that they are here on earth for a short while saying what they have to say,
and they will soon move on.
But that will not be the end of your work,
because you will send the Holy Spirit, the Advocate,
and all the things they have taught he will teach again,
and he will remind people of whatever they have forgotten or not understood.
“If you desire peace, prepare for war.” …a Roman proverb
Lord, the great powers can never bring peace to the world
because they want to impose it by force,
whereas, as Jesus taught, we cannot impose peace,
we can only share the peace that we have ourselves
as a gift that others are free to take or leave.
Lord, people have taught us facts and skills,
but there have been a few special people who have been like Jesus for us
in that they shared with us how they coped with life,
and their courage, their perseverance is like a precious inheritance
which we can build on in our own lives.
Lord, we thank you for the faith that enables us to let our loved ones go,
so that we can take leave of them
saying to ourselves, in the midst of our sorrow,
that since we love them we are glad to know that they are going to you,
their Father in heaven.
Lord, we become attached to the things which bring us close to you:
– our devotions and pilgrimages;
– the way liturgy is celebrated in our parish;
– our method of prayer.
When we have to give them up we become anxious and even angry.
But we have learned from experience
that we must not let our hearts be troubled or afraid
because you are greater than any manifestation of your presence,
and just as Jesus went away from his disciples and returned
so you will always show yourself to us in a new way.
Lord, we thank you for our parents.
Like Jesus with his disciples they told us things before they happened
and now that they have happened we can believe.
Liturgical Resources for the Year of Luke
Introduction to the Celebration
At Easter we recalled that we have died and risen in Christ in baptism. Today let us recall that, as his people sharing his life, we must be people of the Light.
This is part of the conclusion to one Last Supper discourse in John where Jesus speaks about his departure, and in that context how he will remain present to his community. He has two gifts to the church: the Holy Spirit and peace. The Spirit is the one who continues the teaching of Jesus by keeping it in the memory of his disciples, and does not introduce a new or additional teaching. Peace is the gift that enables them to remain in love with each other and with the Father – God’s Shalom
1. Finding suitable ways to give a broad overview catechesis of what we believe in by saying Jesus rose from the dead and has shared his new life with us is something that has concerned preachers from the very beginning as we can witness, for example, in 1 Peter. What is needed is a rounded statement, that is accessible, memorable, and pictorial. The most frequently chosen image has been that of baptism – but while this is the foundational Christian symbol, its power for many today is limited as it is too often seen just as a family occasion or as rite for infancy. So even when we preach about it, we have to face the dissonance that an actual baptism may for those concerned involve more worry over the name to give the child than the ritual or its reality.
2. However, we must still use our great symbols and continue to expound them. One way of doing this is to take the prayer for the blessing of the water at baptism at the Easter Vigil (Missal, pp. 213-214) and go through it by way of a meditation with comments. This serves to recall that we are in Eastertide and calls up all the great images of Christian memory.
3. Sean Goan
Let the reader understand
We continue to read the words of Jesus to the disciples at the last supper and these are appropriate now as we draw near to the Feast of Pentecost and the giving of the Spirit. At the beginning of the text we find a favourite theme of John which is that of the God dwelling in the disciple, making his home within each one.
This means that the Jerusalem temple, beautiful as it was, has no longer any importance, because God has chosen to live in the heart of the believer. John uses the word Advocate or Paraclete to describe the Holy Spirit and, in so doing, he is reminding us that the work of the Spirit is twofold. On the one hand, the Spirit is with us to act as our lawyer or defence counsel against an unbelieving world while, on the other, he is our teacher, who brings to light all that Jesus has said, leading us to an understanding of Jesus’ words and the truth that God does indeed dwell within.
That first council of the church in Jerusalem had enormous implications for the history of the world, far beyond what the participants could have imagined. They were not surrounded by the pomp and splendour of the Second Vatican Council, nor did they have the attention of the world’s media analysing every move. Rather that small group had to proceed believing that, despite their differences and the difficulties involved in reconciling them, the Holy Spirit would guide them on the right path. So it is with the church at the beginning of the third millennium. Doubtless there are difficult days ahead and hard decisions to be made, but as people of faith we step forward trusting that God will bring about the changes in us which will make us more perfectly the People of God i The Church
Making a home is a big opportunity of love for a husband, a wife and a family.They try to make it their own: pictures and memorabilia here and there make a home out a house. I doesn’t have to be perfect. The want others to be able to feel at home in their home also.
It is the same with Jesus. In our hearts and the depths of our personality he makes a home for himself and the father. He asks for a loving and welcoming heart, not a place that is perfect. tidy and clean. To make a home is a work of love. Jesus’ making of a home in us comes through our growth in development and love. The loving marriage and family, the loving friendship, the heart that cares for others, these are what make Jesus feel at home.
Is this a strange way of looking on God? . We think of God in the power of nature and almost the maker of history. God seems to reject all this all powerful view of himself and makes himself accessible in the home of our hearts.
Home is a place of help. We look out for each other and the contented home is where each cares for the other. St Ignatius used say each day, ‘Who can I help today?’ Maybe we can make that part of the music of our homes. This is God helping through you, and it is God finding us and each other in love.
Lord, open my heart to prayer and care this day.
Open my eyes to the beauty and problems of others.
Open m heart yo your love for me.