Sixth Sunday of Easter – Year C

“…But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, will teach you everything...”

Gospel: John 14:23-29

23 Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me. 25 “I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 27 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. 28 You heard me say to you, “I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe.

Gospel Summary

In this Gospel, Jesus prepared his disciples for his return to God. Jesus promised them that the Holy Spirit would live within them and provide strength and courage. The Spirit would always be available to help them as a counsellor and advocate. Through the Spirit, they would recall the words and teachings of Jesus and even come to understand these things in a way that they could not before. In addition the disciples would receive peace from the Spirit. The peace of the Spirit would be a kind of peace which provided a special inner serenity.

Relating the Gospel to our lives today.

The Holy Spirit is often the most overlooked person of the Holy Trinity. This is perhaps because it is hard to describe what the Holy Spirit actually is. I have heard it described as ‘God’s power’ and even explained in similar terms as ‘The force’ in Star-wars!

Perhaps the best way to describe the Holy Spirit is ‘God at work in our hearts’. The Holy Spirit enlightens us – not only to the deeper meanings of scripture, but to the simplest parts of our day to day lives. In the light of the Holy Spirit, we can recognise Gods presence in the most mundane of tasks – doing the washing up, taking the dog for a walk, even the school run!

One of the most recognisable fruits of the Holy Spirit is peace. This is something that many people lack today. For us to begin to find this peace in our busy and stressful lives we must first acknowledge that modern life does not lend itself to peacefulness. Pope Francis has recently asked us to reflect on whether we are “slaves to our work…”  This is a very profound question. I suppose we could also ask ourselves whether we are slaves to the TV in the evenings, or the computer? Do we ever give ourselves a moment during the day to sit quietly and recognise where God is working in our lives? When I first began to do this I found it extremely difficult. I was not used to the stillness and the silence and quite often found myself dropping off to sleep! But as I got used to it, it began to dawn on me that this stillness and silence was something that I needed just like food and water. The Holy Spirit doesn’t shout – it whispers to us, and we need to make the time and the space in our lives to stop for a moment and listen.

  • Can I find a moment today to sit quietly with God?
  • Where is God working in my life at the moment?
  • The Holy Spirit doesn’t shout, it whispers.

Spirit of the living God fall afresh on me

Spirit of the living God fall afresh on me

Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me,

Spirit of the living God fall afresh on me.

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