Today’s gospel brings us back to Jesus’ discourse at the Last Supper, before He was going to offer Himself in sacrifice to the Father. The passages we hear today are Jesus’ response to Judas (not Iscariot) who asks him: “Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?” I would like to point out three points to understand Jesus’ response.
“For God so loved the world that He gave us His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him might not perish but have eternal life” (Jn 3:16) – Because of God’s great love for us, He sends His Son, Jesus Christ, to make us share in His very own life, that is, eternal life. In Jesus’ prayer in Jn 17, Jesus reveals to us that eternal life is to know the Father and the One whom He has sent; Jesus. (Jn 17:3) This is made possible only when we have a personal relationship with God, the reason for which Jesus says, “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.” (Jn 14:23)
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. (Romans 8:14-17). It is through the Holy Spirit that we become children of God. Baptism makes us enter into the family of God and gives us access to the life that God wants to give us. Jesus, in today’s Gospel, spoke of the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, who will teach us everything and remind us of all that He has told us. (cf. Jn 14:26) It is the Holy Spirit who will teach us to be sons and daughters of the Father, following the example of God’s only Son, Jesus Christ
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Mt 5:9). On the sermon on the Mount, Jesus proclaims this beatitude of the peacemakers. Jesus leaves his peace to his disciples as he says: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” (Jn 14:27) The peace that comes from Christ, emanating from the Cross, is a fruit of the sacrifice of Christ who reconciles we sinners by offering Himself to the Father.
Let us prepare our hearts to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost in two weeks’ time. May our whole being be ready to receive this great gift so that, as we live our Christian life, we may unceasingly, with the Holy Spirit, cry out “Abba, Father!”
Br John Van