Sunday Gospel Reflection for the Sixth Sunday of Easter
The Church chooses this passage from the Gospel according to St John (Jn 14:23-29) for the sixth Sunday of Easter, because this is where Jesus reveals to his apostles what is to come after his resurrection: “I am going away and I will come back to you.”
Jesus further reveals we can participate in the life of the Trinity: If we love Christ and keep his word, God the Father will dwell with us. This is the peace of soul he promises in this life and forever with God in eternity.
Jesus reveals himself to the ones who love him and keep his word, not to the world. The Apostles hear Jesus’ words but have trouble understanding him at this time, because they have worldly desires and expectations. Attachment to worldly pleasures and vanities make it difficult to hear God’s voice and resist temptation. They also make it harder to understand and accept Church teaching. In this regard, Saint John warns: “Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). Conversely, Christ tells us: “Whoever loves me will keep my word,” not the ways of the world.
The reward for keeping Christ’s word is peace. The peace Christ promises is the consolation of the Father and the indwelling of the Holy Trinity in the soul. It is the hope of eternal life in heaven. The world does not understand this kind of peace and cannot give us this peace of soul, because it does not know God.
Church teaching is difficult to accept today more than ever, because our secular society often promotes just the opposite of what the Church teaches. People who are at odds with the Church over the morality of homosexual marriage, contraception, cohabitation, and abortion often suggest that the Church needs to catch up with the times and stop being so controlling. This is the spirit of the world, not the spirit of Christ.
As Saint Paul reminds us: “If the spirit of the world is in you, you do not belong to Christ” (Romans 8:9).