5/14/2023 (Sunday) Today’s gospel reading: John 14:15-21
15 Jesus said to his disciples: If you love me, keep my commandments.
16 And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you forever.
17 The spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive because it sees him not, nor knows him: but you shall know him; because he shall abide with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you.
19 Yet a little while: and the world sees me no more. But you see me: because I live, and you shall live.
20 In that day you shall know, that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.
21 He that has my commandments, and keeps them; he it is that loves me. And he that loves me, shall be loved of my Father: and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
5/14/2023 (Sunday) Today’s gospel reflection: John 14:15-21
Saying goodbye is a such a painful thing especially if the separation means forever. We can easily sympathize with the Apostles of Jesus who joined the dinner not knowing that it will be their last and that the Master is going away for good. Jesus too knew what they were feeling at that time. So He is giving them as much consolation as possible. He is assuring them that it will not actually be their last time together. For although He is going back to the Father, He is not going to leave them “orphaned”. He is promising them that He will be with them through another Helper, the Paraclete – a term used only in the gospel of John. The Paraclete is the Spirit of truth. He will be the Counselor of the one who receives Him and He will abide in the believer forever.
Even as Jesus was promising “life after His death”, He is giving His Apostles last minute instruction: To keep His commandments as proof of love. This is something His followers must remember. Love requires obedience. No one can claim love of Jesus without following His Commands. The last verse in the reading above says it all. Keeping His commandments is the only true evidence of loving Him! Moreover, the one keeping His commandment will be loved by the Father. Jesus too will love Him and will make Himself known to him. In other words, if we obey Him, we will know Him more. In John 17:3, Jesus will state directly what eternal life means – To know God and His Son. Thus, by following His commandments, we will know Him more and this will bring us to eternal life.
Indeed, life on earth is short. Time will come when we shall leave this world. We will soon be separated from our loved ones. It would be a pity if we will miss them forever. This will not happen if we accept Jesus as our savior and keep His commandment as a sign of our love for Him. His greatest commandment is for us to love one another (Matthew 22:39). Therefore let us love others while we still have time with each other. Then physical death will no longer cause us sorrow because we have been assured that we shall live again. Yes, we will see each other again in the next life because we have loved!