Monday of the seventh week of Easter

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The readings of John from the past couple weeks all are from the Last Supper discourse and they describe what will happen following the events of the crucifixion. In that discourse Jesus prepares his apostles for the turbulence that was about to unfold, and at the same time prepares us for the turbulence of our lives. Here He lays out the groundwork of his Church, which is a continuation of His mission that began with the Annunciation.” In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places, if there are not would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?” The opening of His discourse tells that He has not abandoned us, but that we also can ascend with Him.

The disciples said to Jesus,
“Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech.
Now we realize that you know everything
and that you do not need to have anyone question you.
Because of this we believe that you came from God.”
Jesus answered them, “Do you believe now?
Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived
when each of you will be scattered to his own home
and you will leave me alone.
But I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
I have told you this so that you might have peace in me.
In the world you will have trouble,
but take courage, I have conquered the world.”

Jesus tells at the last supper that He will send the advocate to be with us always. In that early century, those disciples were confused as to how they would enter the kingdom, and some thought of a dramatic Hollywood style event. Jesus tells them simply to obey His commandments and be receptive to the Holy Spirit. That is sound advice then and now.Jesus did not them to expect an event, but to accept Gods spirit and to be obedient to that spirit. His message tells strongly of their earthly mission and how they are to accomplish that mission. “I am the vine and my father is the vine grower.” Is an organic description those disciples could easily relate to. It is a symbol of a new Jerusalem, a new kingdom, and  new Church. It establishes that relationship between God and man, between Jesus and His disciples. The second part of Jesus ministry was not left to chance, and it was not of human invention. His mission to restore the relation between God and His people did not end after the Ascension, it bore much fruit.

In that discourse Jesus talks a lot about the  trouble and turbulence  and hatred  His disciples were gong to encounter. “If the world hates you, it hated me first.”  If the world needed the redemption of Christ, if the relationship between God and man needed to be repaired; that is because it was so damaged by “the evil one.” “The evil one” still at work today and Jesus Christ’s salvation still has dominion over it. Come Holy Spirit.

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