The readings prepare us for the celebration of the Ascension this week Thursday and Pentecost, respectively. That is, the imminent departure of Jesus and his promise of the Holy Spirit. The first reading from the Acts of the Apostles begins with the persecution of the early Church in Jerusalem and yet speaks of the spread of the Gospel of God’s love and the Church to the surrounding places.
In the Gospel, Jesus tells us; “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth…and he says, I will not leave you orphans….” This is the promise of God’s love for us. Jesus never abandons his people, especially in difficult times.
In our world today filled with uncertainties, yet Jesus promised to send us another advocate, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth and justice to intercede for us, to liberate us, to give us another hope and to set us free from darkness to light. Jesus offers us his love and peace, which conquers our fears, our troubles and anxieties. The scripture tells us that nothing can separate us from the peace and love of God, not even the coronavirus pandemic. Because Jesus assures us and said; “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you and I will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth…” Our God is always with us. The scriptures tells us in the letter of Saints Paul to the Romans 8:31; “…If God is for us, who can be against us…?” No body. Our God is Supreme over all.
The Holy Spirit helps us in our struggles, in our weaknesses and strengthens us with his gifts and his supernatural virtues, which enable us to live as faithful Christians. Jesus is asking us to do one thing for him today. “ He says; “If you love me, you will keep my commandments…” In other words, Jesus is asking us to love him more and our neighbors, to worship him in truth and in spirit, to be close to him, to keep his commandments, to be faithful in our prayers, to honor him, to praise him, to serve him, to come to church and receive the sacraments, eventually, to be generous, to be nice to our family, to our parents, to our siblings and to everyone. In doing so, he says; “I will send another advocate to intercede for us, I will not leave you orphans, I will love you and reveal myself to you.” What a blessing to us if we follow the commandments of God’s love.
God unites us to himself in a bond of love and peace. The peace of Christ is more than the absence of troubles in our world. It includes everything and everyone, which makes for our highest good. God’s love Is not exclusive, is inclusive. It doesn’t exclude people that are different from us; it includes everyone, that is, you and I. We would only make a difference and love God more by loving others and our neighbors as ourselves. God is counting on us to make a difference in our world. The three letters of love can be the most beautiful and powerful of all the words in a person’s life. Let us always show our love for God and for one another by helping each other to grow in the love of God and to always support them, especially in our prayers during this difficult time.
God is good… all the time.
God bless you.
Fr. Daniel E. Ogbeifun