Easter Daily Gospel Reflection - 5 April 2013
“I have said these things to you so that you won’t fall away. They will expel you from the synagogue. The time is coming when those who kill you will think that they are doing a service to God. They will do these things because they don’t know the Father or me. But I have said these things to you so that when their time comes, you will remember that I told you about them.
“I didn’t say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I go away to the one who sent me. None of you ask me, ‘Where are you going?’ Yet because I have said these things to you, you are filled with sorrow. I assure you that it is better for you that I go away. If I don’t go away, the Companion [Advocate] won’t come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will show the world it was wrong about sin, righteousness, and judgment. He will show the world it was wrong about sin because they don’t believe in me. He will show the world it was wrong about righteousness because I’m going to the Father and you won’t see me anymore. He will show the world it was wrong about judgment because this world’s ruler stands condemned.
“I have much more to say to you, but you can’t handle it now. However, when the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you in all truth. He won’t speak on his own, but will say whatever he hears and will proclaim to you what is to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and proclaim it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine. That’s why I said that the Spirit takes what is mine and will proclaim it to you.
Yesterday, we talked about how the “world” Jesus referred to was the world of first century Judaism and that his primary concern was for his followers currently with him. Today, we see this more clearly. In this passage, Jesus used the word “you” over 20 times. The people sitting with him in that upper room, attending that meal, would have understood that Jesus was talking to them.
This point is made even clearer when we read the second sentence, “They will expel you from the synagogue.” The “they” Jesus referred to were the leaders of first century Judaism. The “you,” as we’ve seen, refers to the disciples then present. And the “synagogue,” well, that’s their local synagogue.
The continuity continues with the veiled hint at the war with Rome. Jesus said, “I have said these things to you [those who are with him at the moment] so that when their [Jewish leadership] time comes [the war with Rome], you’ll remember...”
But, as we saw yesterday, Jesus will send the Advocate to stand with his followers. But the Advocate will also convict the “world” of it’s falseness. Of course, the biggest conviction, the “burden of proof,” will come from Jesus resurrection and ascension - the exaltation of Daniel’s “one like a human being.”
Furthermore, the role of the Advocate will also be as that of a guide. The Advocate will guide the followers of Jesus into things that Jesus couldn’t teach them while he was with them. We see this come to fruition throughout the book of Acts, most notably with the expansion of the Realm of G_d to the Gentiles.
One area I think that this guidance of The Advocate still continues today is in the realm of our understanding of connectedness or oneness (as we saw previously, Jesus mentioned this in his prayer). This is the idea that all things are connected. That all humanity is connected. We’re connected to each other and to the earth in a myriad of ways that we are just now started to see. At one time, there was such a notion as fidelity to one’s own tradition - we’re right and everyone else is wrong. But more and more people are seeing that there is truth in other’s traditions. That no single heritage has “all truth.” In fact, “all truth is G_d’s truth.”
In the Love of the Three in One,
Br. Jack+, LC