The Sixth Sunday of Easter:
by Victor Hoagland, C.P.
Jn 13:31-33a, 34-35
Our homes, especially the refrigerator door, are full of notes reminding us of something to do that day. A priest I know had a practice of propping important reminders on the floor near his door. Guess what? He walked right over them!
Young, middle aged, or senior citizens, many of us are forgetful. Knowing this, Jesus says in today's Gospel, “The Paraclete, whom the Father will send in my name, will instruct you in everything, and remind you of all that I told you.” What a beautiful reminder, coming from the mouth of Jesus!
Have we forgotten that we are born in the image and likeness of God? That we are children of God through Baptism? Do we remember the words of Jesus, “Pray always.”? It's so easy to forget the most serious and difficult challenges of Jesus, “Unless you take up your daily cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.” When our bodies are racked in pain, when our marriage is falling apart, when there is a crisis of faith as an individual or in our family, do we remind ourselves of the words of Jesus, “My Grace is sufficient for you”?
Yes, it is only human to forget. But these areas, plus many others, are spiritual values. Jesus is aware of our weakness. He knows we need divine assistance. In a sweeping statement, he said, “Without me, you can do nothing.” Nothing! So he promises to send us the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, who will remind us of everything he has told us. The famed Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, gives us a charming meaning of the word Paraclete, “Cheerleader,” a God who cheers us on whenever we do forget.
Though everyone forget us, Lord,
you do not.
Our names are carved in your heart.
Love caused you to die for us,
and love makes you stand by us still.
Remember us, Lord,
till we come into your kingdom.