6th Sunday of Easter Year C - 26/5/2019 - Gospel: Jn 14: 23
We all have experienced having to say farewell to our loved ones. Sometimes it is easy; others, not so. It is the experience Jesus and his apostles had on the last week prior to His Passion. Jesus knew that his time to give glory to the Father was imminent, and on the night before the Passion, Jesus had an intimate talk to His apostles. On several occasions before, Jesus told the apostles about his leaving. The apostles didn't take it seriously. This time, Jesus gave them instructions about what to do when He was not with them. It seemed that no matter how much Jesus said, it would not be enough for them, because they would never be ready to accept what they did not want to happen.

Jesus tried to show them two realities: He spoke about going away, and yet at the same time, he was always with them, as he has promised. For the apostles the two realities were contradictory, and they struggled hard to make sense of what Jesus said. To ease their fear and anxiety, Jesus gave them specific instructions that whenever they observed what He had told them they would have Him always.

First, Jesus told them He was not going anywhere, but he actually was going to the Father, and His going was for their advantage. Keeping His teaching means to meet Him at a different place, the Father's house. The benefit of keeping his teaching would not only show that, they loved him dearly, but they even experienced that the Father would love them, and make His home in them (verse.23).

Second, those who loved Jesus, would not be left alone in this world. Jesus would not physically be with them, but the Advocate, Whom Jesus sent to be their faithful companion on the journey would be. The benefit of having the Spirit, was that the apostles now had a new teacher, who would teach them more about God's love. The Spirit would not only remind them what Jesus had taught them, but also gradually open their minds and hearts to widen and deepen what they had learnt from Jesus. (verse 26). For Jesus, loving him means keeping his word, and there are inseparable.

Third, those who keep Jesus' teaching will receive peace. This special personal gift is not given to the world in general. It is given to each individual who makes His word active in the world (verse 14,27). God's peace may not prevent them from facing trouble or fear or the evil of this world.  God's peace certainly made them to be peaceful people. They would prefer peace rather than violence, calm rather than anger, forgiveness rather than vengeance. God's peace accompanies the gift of the Spirit, and is reserved specifically for those who keep His word. Jesus' Passion was inflicted as an act of evil, yet through it God claimed salvation for mankind. Our loving God is able to draw goodness out of badness. Through His Spirit, our brokenness, loss, pain and sorrow in witnessing for Jesus, will be transformed to give glory to God. We pray to love Jesus and make His teaching real for others to embrace.