May 25, 2012

Pentecost Sunday (May 27, 2012)

John 20: 19-23

The Ever Presence of God

The disciples were in fear, hiding behind locked doors when Jesus was not with them.

The presence of the Risen Christ brings peace.

Today, while we may not see the Risen Lord with our physical eyes, the recipe for God's gift of peace is the same. 

First, the presence of the Risen Lord is found in the community. 

Second, God's peace is connected with forgiveness.  In this passage, Jesus grants peace to the disciples who have abandoned and denied him.  Besides, they have been lack of faith.  Not only does the Risen Lord forgive them, he also empowers them to forgive others.

Third, God's peace comes with a comission.  Jesus' words "As the Father has sent me, so I send you" express his trust in his disciples, fearful, broken as they are.  The Lord trusts his chosen disciples.  We are sent by the Lord.  And there is peace in doing God's will, though we are not worthy of it.

Then, the ever presence of the Holy Spirit, Jesus' farewell gift. 

There, we have the ever presence of God.  And there, we find divine peace.

Pentecost Sunday (May 27, 2012)


Image:  St. Peter's Basilica

May 20, 2012

7th Sunday of Easter - B (May 20, 2012)

John 17: 11b- 19

Jesus Prays for Us

In the Gospel According to John, now we come to the end of the Last Supper.  The event is so essential in John's understanding of Jesus that John dedicates five chapters to report it. (The entire book has 21 chapters).

And these verses to which we listen today come close to the end of this 5-chapter long report of Jesus' words and action.  In just 7 verses, his passion begins with him in the garden and then his arrest.

At this moment, as Jesus prepares to fulfill his mission, in his last words, he prays for his disciples.

How often do I remember that Jesus prays for me?  He does that always, even as he prepared to die for me!

7th Sunday of Easter - B (May 20, 2012)


May 12, 2012

6th Sunday of Easter - B (May 13, 2012)

John 15: 9-17

As the Father Loves Me

The Greek word kaqwV (kathos) used by Jesus in John 15:9 is often translated into English as, even as, just as, or inasmuch as. [1]

The translation used in Catholic churches in the US for this verse is "As the Father loves me, so I also love you."

The word as here suggests both the reason and the degree of Jesus' love for his friends. 

Probably there will never be a translation that can perfectly convey the meaning of the word.  On the intelectual level, we as human beings can never fathom the reason nor the depth of God's love.

And so Jesus teaches us, not by verbal explanation, but by action.  He laid down his life for his friends.  That is the degree of Jesus' love.  He loves us so because, and as, the Father loves Him. 


6th Sunday of Easter - B (May 13, 2012)


Image:  The Crucifixion by Rogier van der Weyden

Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

May 5, 2012

5th Sunday of Easter - B

John 15: 1-8

Remain In Jesus

In this short passage of just eight verses, Jesus uses the word "remain" eight times. It is not hard then to see what his emphasis is.

It is worth noting that in the John's Gospel, this passage forms a part of Jesus' last words to the disciples during the Last Supper. More significantly, by this time in the evening, Jesus has predicted that one of the disciples would betray him, and that Peter would deny him (Chapter 13).

Hearing these words then, the disciples probably were not fully aware of how true and how essential to remain with Jesus was.

We, the readers, and disciples of Jesus today have the benefit of knowing what happened to Judas, Peter and the other disciples when they chose not to remain with Jesus. We also know how they changed after they had witnessed Jesus' resurrection and received the gift of the Holy Spirit.

5th Sunday of Easter - B (May 6, 2012)