Gospel Reflection 6th Week of Easter – John 14:23-29     

The disciples would have been confused, to say the least, at the events of the death and resurrection of Jesus: bewildered, confused and astonished. They thought he wouldn’t die: he did. They thought they wouldn’t see him again: they did. And at this late stage in the Gospel narrative, they would have been at the height of their confusion. “What next?”, they might be asking: “What will happen?” “Will Christ be going somewhere?” “Will we be going with him?”

But Jesus gives a very important point: “…the Advocate, the Holy Spirit,
whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you everything
and remind you of all I have said to you.” This will not have meant much to them. They wouldn’t have understood it. After all, how well do we, two thousand years later, understand the Holy Spirit? So, the disciples would have been very confused.

It is not until later, when they were in the upper room and the Holy Spirit came to them as fire, that they understood. And it wasn’t something that they figured out like a Miss Marple mystery. No, it was the gift of understanding, the gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, counsel, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord. This was an epiphany, an unveiling of the Spirit to those who will carry the Christian message to all corners of the world. And yes, even to us, here in 2022.

We too have been bestowed with these gifts. But they are not simply bestowed once: we are given them over and over again. Just as conversion is a daily thing, so we pray to the Spirit for the gifts that will sustain and strengthen us. Just as the disciples couldn’t have known what was in store for them, so do we wonder at what will happen next. Yet we trust in Jesus’s words, and this is what conveys us into the love of God.

We pray to stay in the love of the Father, and to live as the worthy Ambassadors of Christ, through the Holy Spirit. Amen.


The Lord be with you.
And with your spirit
A reading from the Gospel according to John 14:23-29
Glory to you, O Lord.

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘If anyone loves me he will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we shall come to him
and make our home with him.
Those who do not love me do not keep my words.
And my word is not my own:
it is the word of the one who sent me.

I have said these things to you
while still with you;
but the Advocate, the Holy Spirit,
whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you everything
and remind you of all I have said to you.

Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you,
a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
You heard me say: I am going away, and shall return.
If you loved me you would have been glad to know that I am going to the Father,
for the Father is greater than I.
I have told you this now before it happens, so that when it does happen you may believe.

The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ