Sixth Sunday of Easter
Father Paul Campbell, LC
Jesus said to his disciples: “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 forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you. I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”
Introductory Prayer: Lord, as I begin this prayer I offer you my whole self: my thoughts, desires, decisions, actions, hopes, fears, weaknesses, failures and petty successes. I open my entire being to you, aware that you know everything already. I’m certain of your mercy and of the purifying power of your penetrating, loving gaze.
Petition: Lord, I want to believe in your personal and passionate love for me.
1. Intimacy with Jesus: When we gaze at the cross, we need to remind ourselves that he died there for each one of us, for “me”. He died to forgive my sins and to pour his divine life into my soul. He wants there to be no divisions between us, barriers caused by sin. He wants us to be united in all things. This is why he says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” He wants our wills to be united, for his will represents our true good. He asks for our obedience out of love, not fear. There is a tendency in today’s society to separate love from obedience. Love of God gets reduced to some kind of vague feeling of goodwill toward God and others. Love requires sacrifice. Love is self-donation. Ask Jesus for the grace to love as he has loved us.
2. Intimacy with the Holy Spirit: Jesus promised his disciples another advocate, one who would remain with them forever. The disciples were upset to hear Jesus speak of his death and departure. They were distraught to think of themselves alone in the world, with all their hopes and plans crashing down around them. Jesus didn’t want to leave them alone, nor does he want to leave us alone. He does not leave us orphans in the world; he sends us a helper, a gift of love. In the Holy Spirit we find a guide and friend, another person who abides within us. We are never alone. He is always with us, even when we feel abandoned by others.
3. Intimacy with the Father: “Whoever loves me, will be loved by my Father.” Now we turn to the Father, and we come to him through Jesus Christ. The Father’s plan from all eternity was to love us in his Son. He wants to love us with a fatherly love, to love us with the same love he has for his only-begotten son from all eternity. How much God loves us! He wants to draw us into his living and eternal relationship of love. In a thousand, different ways he is calling us, inviting us, pulling us towards himself. Jesus reveals a Triune God, and he invites us to share in the communion of life and love that is the Holy Trinity.
Conversation with Christ: Jesus, help me to believe in you and your love. Imprint your love very deeply onto my heart. I want to remain in your love always. I want to remain in the love of the Father and the Holy Spirit, but I need your strength and grace. Help me to set aside anything that displeases you.
Resolution: I will make three spiritual communions with Jesus during the day.