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News & Resources

Gospel Reflection: May 14, 2023 – the 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

May 13, 2023

John 14:15-21

Let’s pause for a moment to set the stage for this week’s Gospel. In chapter 13, Jesus had just washed the feet of his disciples, totally upending their roles, causing them to question who they were and reassess how they were to be with and for each other. He outs Judas as his betrayer and the guest list is suddenly reduced by one as Judas hastily departs. And those sitting close enough to Peter hear his testament of fealty and the Lord’s prediction of denial not once, but three times.

With all of this melodrama happening around them, Jesus launches into the Last Supper Discourses (chapter 14) and probably confuses them even more. One has to wonder how many heard everything he was saying amidst all the seeming chaos: Peter brooding over what Jesus had just said to him; various pairs of heads leaning in, whispering about where Judas may have gone; still others wondering if Peter’s predicted betrayal might offer a position at the top for them.

And then… “I will not leave you orphans…In a little while the world will no longer see me….” What? Where is he going? Who is he sending? Jesus is trying to prepare them for when he would no longer be physically with them. They had no idea who the Spirit was. but they knew it wasn’t Jesus. There was no way they were ready for what was to come and when it happened, initially, they forgot everything he said.

Sometimes, I am amazed at how like the apostles we are. Even with all the years of Church teaching, tradition, and exegesis, we forget what Jesus said. We succumb to the harsh difficulties of life and flee to an upper room somewhere to avoid reality. We forget that the Spirit remains with us and in us for all time. With the Spirit on our side, we can do all things.

Sister Danielle Jacob, CSFN

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