By Mgr Anthony Abela
Trusting Jesus John 14:23-29 23 Jesus answered him: “Whoever loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and my Father and I will come to him and live with him.
24 Whoever does not love me does not obey my teaching. And the teaching you have heard is not mine, but comes from the Father, who sent me.
25 I have told you this while I am still with you.
26 The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and make you remember all that I have told you.
27 Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.
28 You heard me say to you: ‘I am leaving, but I will come back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father; for he is greater than I.
29 I have told you this now before it all happens, so that when it does happen, you will believe.” Other Readings: Acts 15:1-2, 22-29; Psalm 67:1-2, 4-5, 7; Revelation 21:10-14, 22-23 LECTIO This week we continue to read about the teaching Jesus gave to his disciples in the context of the Last Supper (John 14-17). Today’s text is a response to a question from another disciple called Judas. (John 13:31-35 makes it clear this is not Judas Iscariot as he had left them earlier to betray Jesus.) Jesus has just said that he will reveal himself to those who love him (verse 21). Judas is puzzled. Is Jesus saying he will only reveal himself to the disciples? Jesus doesn’t answer Judas directly even though it is apparent his understanding is very limited. Jesus knows the disciples will get more insight after his Resurrection. So for now he emphasises again his relationship to God the Father. He stresses that his teaching comes direct from the Father and that the critical point is for each one to put his teaching into action.
But Jesus makes it plain he doesn’t expect us to be able to do this on our own.
God the Father is going to send us a helper. The Holy Spirit is going to teach us everything we need to know to live, love and serve Jesus.
Jesus tells them he will be leaving them to go to the Father. He doesn’t reveal just how soon this will be or explain the shocking nature of his death. But he does seek to reassure them. He promises them he will come back for them, that they won’t be left on their own but will have the Holy Spirit to help them and he leaves his peace with them.
Jesus wants them to trust him. Even though they don’t understand everything now, later they will see what he was saying and believe in him.
MEDITATIO Why does Jesus put so much emphasis on living out the Gospel message to express your love for him?
How easy do you find it to trust God when you don’t get the answers you expect or you don’t understand things? What can we learn from this passage to help us?
How do you relate to the Holy Spirit? Do you ask for his help to put Jesus’s teaching into practice in your life?
How does Jesus leave us his peace?
ORATIO Thank God for sending Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Ask God to speak to you and show you how he wants you to respond to him today. This may be out of a word or phrase from the Scripture passage or it maybe something prompted by one of the questions above. Take your time.
God the Father is going to send us a helper
CONTEMPLATIO Think about how much God loves you and how he has shown his love for you.
Marvel at the wonderful promise that the Father and Jesus come to live with us.
Lectio divina, or “spiritual reading”, is an ancient tradition of reading and engaging with God’s Word. These outlines for the Sunday Gospel readings are written by Mgr Anthony Abela and published by Bible Society. They can be downloaded free in several languages from www.biblesociety.org.uk/ lectio. Bible Society is a charity that works towards a day when the Bible’s life-changing message is shaping lives and communities everywhere. We aim to show how the Bible connects with life, we make Scriptures available where there are none, and we work with the Church to help it live out the Bible’s message.
© 2008 United Bible Societies. Bible text Good News Translation, second edition © 1992 American Bible Society, New York. Used with permission