Gospel Reflection – Monday 5th Week of Easter (8 May) – The Holy Spirit – our helper
Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of John (14: 21-26) in which Jesus says to his disciples “If anyone loves me they will keep my word. My Father will love them, and we shall come to them and make our home with them.”
Fr Paul says the Gospel today begins to teach what love means: to love Jesus means to keep his commandments. This is not a matter of mere obedience but of loving imitation. If I love a person, I want to keep that person’s commandments, both out of loyalty and out of respect for that person’s qualities: the commandments will reveal and mirror that person’s qualities. So, the Law given by Moses reveals God’s nature by what he commands. In the same way the actions of Jesus reveal his and the Father’s nature: he heals, he loves, he judges, he forgives, he commands. To obey the commands is a response in love: we need to do just that.
We have also for the first time one of the four sayings on the Paraclete – the Holy Spirit.
‘Paraclete’ is the Greek for the Latin-stemmed ‘Advocate’, who is ‘called to the side’ of someone in need. The Paraclete, we are told, is to represent Jesus, to carry on Jesus’ work, to act in the name of Jesus and to make Jesus present when Jesus is no longer there. We will learn gradually what this implies.
The first element is teaching to complete and explain what Jesus has revealed, the implications of the Good News of Jesus. We see this in the Church, making present to every generation the implications of the Good News. The presence of the Paraclete makes it possible for frail and fallible human beings to mediate the work of Jesus.
In closing, Fr Paul shares today’s Gospel Challenge – Let us show our love for Jesus by imitating him and let us ask the Holy Spirit (the Paraclete) to help us.