Jesus tells us that there will come one who will tell us all truth. He is referring, of course, to the sending out of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.


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Our belief, as Roman Catholics, is that Jesus, after a bit of time appearing to friends during this time after the Resurrection ascended into heaven, once more taken from them.

One can imagine their distress; just as they were enjoying Jesus’ occasional visits post-crucifixion, He leaves again.   Shock, confusion, and sadness are on their faces.

Jesus spends a great deal of time, as reported in John’s Gospel, during the Last Supper on the “Final Discourses,” summarizing the main points of His teaching, His relationship with the Father, our need to follow Him to be united with the Father. He also describes the coming of the Holy Spirit who will spark the energy for the apostles to begin to spread His word.

Jesus tells us that there will come one who will tell us all truth. He is referring, of course, to the sending out of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. It is this spirit that speaks to us in our hearts and keeps us on the right path. Jesus tells us further that everything that the Father has belongs to Jesus.

We then, as part of the Father’s great bounty, belong to Jesus and to Jesus alone. And Jesus alone will care for us, watch over us, visit us, and keep us. Jesus is the one to whom we must turn in times of trouble. Jesus is the guide and the brother who holds us up to the Father. We belong to the Father because of Jesus and we belong to Jesus because of the Father. And we know this because of the Spirit of Truth who informs us of all that matters.

We then are caught up in the eternal cycle of love between the members of the Holy Trinity. We are brought into heaven by the three persons of the Trinity–one who reveals the truth and the two who love us unto salvation.

The words of today’s psalm, ‘He heightens the strength of His people’, reinforce our understanding of Jesus’ words as presented by John. When the Spirit of truth comes, Jesus says, we will understand the new order He brought. By being open to the Spirit, the indwelling presence of God within us, we begin to see how it can animate our lives and open doors to understandings we could never imagine.

Jesus is giving us that same reminder, for He knows we too live in a hostile world and are sure to encounter suffering.


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Jesus was always very open and frank with His apostles, even when they didn’t really want to hear the message He was giving.

We have such a situation in today’s gospel. It’s a case of, as we say, “Do you want to hear the good news or the bad news first?” Jesus told His followers that the Advocate would be coming. That was the good news. But their understanding of the Holy Spirit was probably quite limited, just as it might be with some of us today.

The bad news was that they would be expelled from the synagogues and that everyone who killed them would think that they were offering worship to God. That is a belief still held by millions of people today.
Jesus is preparing His disciples for His imminent departure. He wants to make sure His followers will not forget His promise. He has already been preparing them for what may happen. Jesus is giving us that same reminder, for He knows we too live in a hostile world and are sure to encounter suffering.

When we experience difficulties, it is very easy to forget that Jesus told us this would happen. Our world can be critical of those who practice a religious faith, of people who are different, of people who speak a different language, of people who have a disability.

 

We need only to look to our Blessed Mother to find a role model for these two subjects: persecution and the Holy spirit. We recall that with Mary’s “Fiat” she was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and Jesus was conceived.

That pregnancy did not spare Mary from pain and persecution during her years with Jesus and Joseph. She realized the importance of her role as mother of Jesus and remained faithful. We too have a responsibility as Christians to bear the message of Christ, to make His message of LOVE and FORGIVENESS known throughout our world. We stay close to Jesus and St. Joseph to guide us through this daily process, while always turning to the Holy spirit, our advocate for guidance.

Because our work is one of the main ways we express our love for Jesus, we must be working according to His will.


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Today the Church honors St. Joseph, Patron of Workers! The Church holds up St. Joseph as an example of a worker who let God have total control over his work. Many people move their families from place to place because of their work. Joseph moved his family from place to place because of his obedient faithfulness to God’s commands.

Each time he moved, Joseph had to go back to square one to start his work. He moved from his hometown of Nazareth to Bethlehem because of the census. Joseph placed a higher priority on serving Jesus and Mary than on building up his carpentry business. Joseph was a worker, but his main work was to have faith in his Foster-Son, Jesus. Working for Jesus took priority over Joseph’s job.

God then commanded Joseph to drop everything and flee immediately to Egypt. It’s doubtful Joseph was even able to bring along his tools. In a new land, with a new language, as a foreigner and refugee, somehow Joseph had to find work and support the Holy Family. “All depends on faith, and Joseph’s work was completely guided by his faith.

After a few years, Joseph would have established himself in Egypt. Once again, God called him “out of Egypt” back to his hometown, Nazareth. This time, God prospered the work of Joseph’s hands by sending him back to his hometown, his tools, and his original clientele. God restored Joseph’s work because Joseph faithfully put his work at the service of God.
How wonderful it is that our daily work can be a means for our salvation! Work done for the glory and honor of God is just that — a means for our salvation! Work done with love and out of love can be one of our most powerful means we have to speak of Jesus in this lost and darkening world.

Because our work is one of the main ways we express our love for Jesus, we must be working according to His will.

Obedience is one of the main ways we express our love for God.


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Today’s gospel contains a segment of what is known as the Last Discourse of Jesus, the messages He left us immediately before His death.

The topic that is so very important in today’s gospel is that of love, Christ’s love of us. Two statements are especially meaningful. “Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” (John 14:21) and “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.” (John 14:23)

These statements promise an ongoing in-depth relationship for those who let themselves be open to the love of Christ. They are messages of hope and inspiration as opposed to sadness and despair because Christ has been crucified and has gone from our sight.

To love God and love our neighbors. That’s not always easy to do or easy to remember to do when we are tired and stressed.  But if we can love Jesus as he asks, it means that the Father and Jesus will “make a dwelling” with us.  They will dwell in each of us, live at such a deep level that they become a part of who we are and guide us to the peace we each long for. That is when we can let our arms down and drop the immense weight of the false gods we have been carrying, and fall instead into the warm embrace of the God who loves us endlessly.

Obedience is one of the main ways we express our love for God. The Lord gives the Holy Spirit to those who obey Him. The Lord reveals Himself to those obeying Him and conceals Himself from the disobedient. The obedient not only know God’s revelation but even His dwelling within them. In obedience, love is expressed, the Spirit received, God revealed, and His indwelling received. Sin and death entered the world through disobedience, but salvation entered the world through Jesus’ obedience, even to death on the cross.

Obedience is a way of life and the way of love. Love to obey.

Although we will suffer in life, we don’t ever have to let our hearts be troubled.


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“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?”– John

Today’s reading from John supplies no answers but reminds us that much of life will remain a mystery until we get to those dwelling places that Jesus promises he is preparing for us. There’s no way to reason out why one person is born with the proverbial silver spoon and another lacks life’s necessities but faith can help us take a longer view of our fate in life.

No one escapes life without facing some major challenges or even some catastrophes. When life is falling apart, it’s hard not to ask God “why me?” even though we know there are no answers. We can’t even rig the game by praying more, or doing more volunteer work etc. One of the most devout people I have ever known is in a wheel chair. Happily we no longer believe that physical difficulties are God’s punishment for sin.

We somehow have to learn to trust Jesus’ promise that eventually all of life’s mysteries will be resolved when we reach those heavenly dwelling places.

Although we will suffer in life, we don’t ever have to let our hearts be troubled. We can have hearts which are trouble-free. Even in the worst circumstances, we can have a peace beyond understanding. To keep our hearts from being troubled, we must have faith in God and take our rightful dwelling places in God’s house.

Our dwelling places are not only in heaven, but also on earth. We have places in God’s house, the Church; we are parts in the body of Christ. If we take our places in the Church, we have the grace to not let our hearts be troubled. The Lord teaches us: “Christ’s peace must reign in your hearts, since as members of the one body you have been called to that peace”.

To be untroubled means to rest in living God’s will. To be untroubled means to avoid letting our troubles pressure us into committing sin. Paradoxically, to be untroubled means to be in trouble with the world, for in doing God’s will we oppose the ways of the world. To be untroubled can mean even to be persecuted with all the fear and distress that comes with persecution. In summary, to be untroubled means to have the faith to accept the grace to do God’s will, resist the temptations to sin, get in trouble, and even deserve persecution.

To be untroubled means to carry our daily crosses. “The message of the cross is complete absurdity to those who are headed for ruin, but to us who are experiencing salvation it is the power of God”

Jesus said: “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.” —John 14:6

So many people place their hope in better education, government programs, improved technology, a cleaner environment, a higher income, improved health, etc. Placing our hope in worldly circumstances, no matter how good, will ultimately leave us disappointed, for “the world as we know it is passing away”.

Jesus is our Hope, and the only Hope we need. Jesus is our Hope of finding God the Father, because no one comes to the Father except through Him. So many people are “without hope and without God in the world”. They need Jesus, Who is Hope incarnate.

My wish for all of us today is that whether we are in a wonderful place in life or suffering through an awful episode or illness, that we will have the faith to let go and to let God. It’s hard to surrender control but, as today’s Gospel tells us, the only way to live is by faith.

That should be our mission, our life, our joy, that many might be converted and saved by our words, thoughts and actions.


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Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. (Mark 16:15)

As Jesus appeared to the Apostles and sent them to preach the Gospel everywhere, so are we called to do the same, as God directs us. That should be our mission, our life, our joy, that many might be converted and saved by our words, thoughts and actions.

But wait a minute, could it be all that easy? Well, actually no. Today’s first reading has some chilling news for us, something about “Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for [someone] to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

Each and every step we take will be countered by the evil one! We can only succeed by suffering for a while and by having faith in Jesus the Christ.

“Beloved Clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for: God opposes the proud but bestows favor on the humble.”

These sentences are powerful in giving us guidance as to how we should live our lives. The message, in these sentences, tell us that life is about interacting and “being” with others and in our interacting with others we must be respectful and attempt to understand “from another’s point of view” while at the same time honoring and using our gifts and our insights from God to move humanity forward towards God.

Our gifts, which allow us to interact with others, are not ours to own BUT rather come from God. And we are called upon to use our gifts, “For The Greater Glory Of God” and not for our own personal advancement, recognition or reward. Being mindful that all of our encounters with others, in our daily life, is “For The Greater Glory Of God” we will be able to approach these encounters with humility and a recognition of our reliance not on ourselves BUT on God.

“Cast your worries upon him because he cares for you” God does love us and does care about each one of us and has modeled that for us. He asks all of us to “love one another” and to remember this in our daily interactions/encounters with other people.

On the other hand, there is the Devil and evilness all around. The First reading encourages us, “Be sober and vigilant…. Resist him, steadfast in faith” There is and will be a struggle between living our lives “loving one another” and falling prey to jealousy, resentment, disrespect and anger- all the work of the devil, especially when we begin to rely on ourselves forgetting to invite God in for strength, wisdom and guidance.

 

Jesus was sent here to be our light and to light our way out of darkness.


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Few things in life are more difficult than acting as a mediator, endeavoring to create harmony where there is dissension. It is quite moving to hear Jesus speaking of himself as a mediator in today’s gospel reading. He begins with the seeming contradiction that anyone who believes in him does not believe in him but believes in the one who sent him. He then describes his mediating strategy: ‘I do not judge anyone who hears my words and does not keep them because I came not to judge the world but to save the world.’

Jesus comes, sent by the Father, on the authority of the Father, speaking the words of the Father. He is our savior, if we recognize who he is and where he comes from. He will save us if we let him, but if we are condemned it is by our own actions – our refusal to see the light and our determination to stay in darkness. Jesus speaks God’s words of eternal life and shows us that light. We choose light or darkness.

Jesus was sent here to be our light and to light our way out of darkness. Before Jesus it was all darkness, but Jesus is the manifestation of God’s word to save us. He is a beacon, illuminating the path, lighting the right way. He is our guide, our leader. Here to save us from the darkness, not to condemn us. Before we were trapped in the darkness, but now there is light, a way out. Believing in Jesus is believing in God who sent Jesus. And not believing keeps us trapped in the darkness of ignorance and despair.

The interesting thing about the light that Jesus brings is that it is deepest darkness for those without deep abiding love in their hearts. If you try to see what the light of Jesus shows, but do not have love, you will not see. If you are in judgment of your brother or sister, you are blinding yourself because love and human judgment are almost exact opposites. In the letter of John , we are told that if we claim to love God but hate brother or sister, we are liars.
(see: 1 John 4:20)

Because the balancing act between judgment and love is so hard for us, let us abandon judgment and embrace love. Then we can begin to see this wonderful world in the way that Jesus lights it up for us.