Lectio Divina: Sixth Sunday of Easter - Cycle A

on 11 May, 2023
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 Cali (Colombie), Sr. Ofelia Vargas González, May 14, 2023.- “I will send you the Spirit of truth”.

 

GOSPEL

 John 14: 15-21.

Jesus says to his disciples:
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Comforter, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.".

PRAYER

in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Here we are to praise and thank, here we are to bless and worship the Triune God of love.

STUDY OF THE TEXT

Jesus did not come to make speeches, about how the Father is, or on Himself and the Holy Spirit, he lived united in perfect Trinitarian communion and that communion kept him in action, proclaiming the Good News: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me” What is wrong with Jesus? What is he anointed for? To announce the Good News to the poor... (Lk 4:18-22a).

"If they love me, they will keep my commandments" (Jn 14:15) "He who has my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves me" To continue being present, Jesus asks the Father to send another Comforter" (Jn 14:16) The Spirit continues the work of Jesus inspiring and making the disciples understand the complete truth, strengthening their faith against the falsehood of the 'world' and helping them to live the new commandment of love. (Jn. 14: 21) Observing, defending and living are fundamental requirements in this covenant of love between God and human beings.

"And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Paraclete (another person) to be with you forever, the Spirit of Truth" (Jn 14: 16-17a), his Spirit lives in us. “I will not leave you or forsake you, I will be with you again. (Jn 14:18). Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me because I live and you too will live” (Jn 14: 15-17) is the first of the five announcements in John, of the coming of the Paraclete or Comforting Spirit.

(Jn 14: 15-26) Spirit = Memory, because it reminds the disciples of the words of their Master and because it gives them the light to reach the complete truth. They will have understanding (Jn 14:19) (Jn 15:26-27) "The Spirit will bear witness to me and so will you"... (Jn 16:13) "The Spirit will guide you into all the truth"

Jesus will give us a defender, the Paraclete which means gift, gift of God, a defender to support so as not to fall, accompany, strengthen and teach..

"Spirit of Truth whom the world cannot accept" (Jn 14: 17b) The 'world', the society based on injustice, lack of solidarity, compassion, and mercy, does not know the Spirit because it has no sensitivity and no concern for justice and truth.
When saying goodbye to his own, Jesus makes known about God's meeting point with humanity, after his departure: "if anyone loves me, he will keep my Word and my Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him ” (Jn 14,23).

MEDITATION

Jesus is saying goodbye to his disciples. He sees them sad and dejected. Soon they won't have Him. Who can fill their void? Until now, it has been He who has taken care of them, has defended them from the scribes and Pharisees, has sustained their weak and wavering faith, has gradually revealed the truth of God to them, and has initiated them in his humanizing project.

Jesus passionately speaks to them of the Spirit. He doesn't want to leave them orphans. He will ask the Father not to abandon them, to give them "another Advocate" so that he "is always with them." Jesus calls him "the Spirit of truth." What is hidden in these words of Jesus?

If they love me, he says, they will listen to me. He tells them that way because soon He is going to be violently separated from them. The drama of the separation, when they had barely been with the teacher for three years, was a crisis in the community that they had to overcome with great effort. Today it is impossible for us to get an idea of what this situation demanded from this small threatened group. Jesus was their Lord, their teacher, their only treasure, the only center of their lives.

Jesus believed in them much more than they believed in themselves, as happens to us today in moments of hopelessness, confusion, and restlessness. This Spirit of truth lives with us and is in us.

This Spirit of truth comes and invites us to open ourselves to his truth by listening, welcoming, and living his Gospel, he makes us witnesses. Our task is to live the truth of the Gospel and “love Jesus by keeping his precepts”, because “he who keeps or lives them is the one who loves me, and whoever loves me will be loved by my Father and I will love him and manifest myself to him. Here Jesus is revealing a project of continuity.

This Spirit of truth is inside each one of us, defending us from everything that can separate us from Jesus. He invites us to open ourselves with simplicity to the mystery of a God who is a friend of life. Jesus once said: "Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice". It is true, this Spirit of Truth is the new way of Jesus’s presence with his own, it invites us to live in the truth of Jesus in a society where lies are often called strategy; for operating, for business, or marketing strategies; to irresponsibility, tolerance; to injustice, established order; to arbitrariness, freedom; to lack respect, sincerity.

After the resurrection, they knew that Jesus was truly alive, but they did not have the warmth of his gaze, his words —tender or insisting, always full of good news. They lacked his physical presence, and at the same time, they felt intensely his real, alive, internal and dynamic presence.

“I will send you my Spirit” which literally means breath of life, air. Thus, like the breath that enters the body and gives life, the first Christians understood the presence of God within them. John's community reflects and sees that Jesus has not left them as orphans and that his Spirit lives within them. Our whole life is called to be a life animated and led by the Spirit sent by the Father (14:16) or by Jesus from the Father (15:26), only in this way, it can be a life in obedience to the commandment of love that ensures the dwelling of God among human beings. (14: 23)

PRAYER

Stay with us, Lord!
make our hearts burn like yours,
in the sacred fire of your Spirit,
which is the fire that purifies and saves.
fire of love,
the fire of life and Truth,
the fire of Justice and Holiness.
Stay with us, Lord!
Stay with us today and always!
Walk by our side.
Listen to our sorrows.
Accompany our steps every day.
Illuminate our path with your light,
Lead us to the Father
who always awaits us with open arms
to hold each other tight,
and give us his Love, his Life, and his Goodness.
Stay with us, Lord!
Stay with us every day!
Stay today, tomorrow, and always!
Amen.
 

ACTION

A Community where Jesus is the center and is animated by His Spirit is called to live the effective love that he lived and taught, making the Kingdom of God present there. The love to which Jesus refers is one that qualifies Unity, not uniformity, tolerance without arrogance, growth without feeling above others, and dignity of life without respect of persons, this is difficult, but the reality is that we are daughters and sons, brothers and sisters because we have the same Father, we participate in the same history and we are responsible for the same Project.

This sincere invitation is extended to everyone. The presence of the Spirit of Jesus is so real and concrete that even John tells us how we can see it: In those who fulfill the commandment of love that Jesus taught us with words and showed us with his dedication. It is urgent to be aware that the Resurrection of Jesus requires transformation processes at the personal and community level, which we verify because they are expressed in openness, capacity for forgiveness, service, acceptance, solidarity, and mercy. The love that lives and flows and stirs within our world, which has been there for millennia and will always be there, is the best sign that God calls permanently through his Word and reality, renews us, impels us to every moment, and asks us to continue His Project; it is essential that we offer our time, our life, our voice, our eyes and our hands. In this way, He will be able to make Himself present, and He will be able to manifest Himself to many more who urgently need Him and cannot find Him. Jesus has also assured us that if we can give ourselves to God as He did, the experience will hurt our entire being, even our guts, but no other path will lead us to where He is, to fullness of life.

LET US CONFRONT THE GOSPEL

  • How can the Church make sense if we hide the Spirit of truth in our Institutions and communities?

  • Who could save the Church from self-deception, deviation, and mediocrity? How?

  • How to announce the Good News of Jesus in a society which is in need of encouragement and hope?

  • Where and how can the action of the Spirit of God be noticed in each of us?