John 14: 15-21
Jesus knows His disciples so well. He knows what they are feeling; whether they are frightened, anxious or confident. He knows what they need to follow Him. Just as He knows us, our needs and worries. He wants to reassure us that He will do everything to help us to follow and believer in Him.
Evening time, when the day’s work is done and good friends are at hand. The time for deep conversation and, with the help of a little wine, the tongue is loosened. It is a time to relax and enjoy each other’s company. Jesus takes this opportunity to affirm the disciples as He knows what is ahead for them. He reminds them that the Spirit of truth is with them – ” He is in you.” This Spirit is not with everyone – “the world” can never receive him. Harsh words, but here Jesus’ reference to “the world” is to those who do not know Him or keep His commandments. They do not know Him so they do not love Him.
Jesus continues in the same vein when He reveals that in a little while the world will not see Him, but the disciples, by virtue of receiving the Spirit, will know that He lives. They will understand that He is in the Father and the Father is in Him as in the same way as “you in me and I in you”. If we keep His commandments we love Him and we will also be loved by the Father.
The disciples have experienced many difficult moments as they followed Jesus. They need the affirmation of His love and the security of knowing the Spirit will be always with them. We too need affirmation and love. When we love, and know we are loved, we can overcome almost any obstacle. Without love we dry up and shrivel into ourselves. We lose confidence, and doubt our ability to carry out even the most basic tasks.
Lord help us to know we are, without doubt, loved. Help us to remember the Spirit is always with us to strengthen and affirm us, so that we can shine out and help our families and friends to realize they too have unlimited access to the Spirit. Amen
Patricia O’Reilly OP