6TH SUNDAY OF EASTER

Just like last week’s gospel, this passage also comes from the Last Supper discourse in the Gospel of John. Again, although its original context was pre-crucifixion, the language works in the post-resurrection Easter season as we anticipate the celebration of the Ascension next week. This double purpose language is, of course, no accident. The gospel was written 60 or more years after the death and resurrection of Jesus and so the writer was consciously conveying the double meaning of ‘going away’: Jesus going to his death; and Jesus going back to the Father. But Jesus also promises his return in this speech. Continuing the double meaning, the gospel writer knew that Jesus had come good on his promise to return after his death and so conveys to the gospel audience, and to us, a sense of confidence and hope that the second promised return will also be fulfilled at the right time.

In the meantime, Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit to the disciples and to the world. The Holy Spirit is to be the Advocate (the Paraclete) of the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit performs a dual purpose: firstly, to carry on the teaching; and secondly, to continue to remind the believers of all that Jesus said and did. The action of the Holy Spirit continues in the world today – inspiring and teaching those who are open to hearing and keeping alive the memory of Jesus, his teaching and his compassion. We talk about being full of school spirit and team spirit but these feelings of loyalty and commitment are only a distant echo of what it is to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

© Fr Greg Sunter


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Next meeting: 5 May 2016



READINGS THIS WEEK


First Reading
Acts 15:1-2. 22-29
The Apostles decide not to burden the Gentiles unnecessarily.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 66:2-3. 5-6. 8. R. v.4

Second Reading
Rv 21:10-14, 22-23
An angel shows John the new Jerusalem.
Rv 22:12-14. 16-17. 20

Gospel Acclamation
Jn 14:23
cf. Jn 14:18

Gospel
Jn 14:23-29
Jesus leaves peace as his farewell.
Jn 17:20-26

 

 

 

 

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