MAY 11. EASTER. Wk 6. Tue. Jn.16 5-11
Updated: Sep 5
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘Now I am going to the one who sent me.
Not one of you has asked, “Where are you going?”
Yet you are sad at heart because I have told you this.
Still, I must tell you the truth:
it is for your own good that I am going
because unless I go,
the Advocate will not come to you;
but if I do go,
I will send him to you.
And when he comes,
he will show the world how wrong it was,
and about who was in the right,
and about judgement:
about sin: proved by their refusal to believe in me;
about who was in the right: proved by my going to the Father and your seeing me no more;
about judgement: proved by the prince of this world being already condemned.’
The disciples were clearly sad at the prospect of Jesus leaving them, but we have to listen to Christ’s reply here, in that he was aware of this sadness, but then he said; - “It is for your own good that I am going”; - a statement we must take on its merits, given he is the Son of God, and came among us because he loved us.
The reason it was “good for us” that Christ depart is it would make us look beyond this world in seeking happiness; - which is what Christ came to teach. The idea he ‘must not leave us’ is based on an earthly view; - that our happiness is found on earth; - something that is just not true; - and Christ came among us to reveal this truth!
The disciple’s sadness was based on their knowledge of this world, but Christ had to go in order for them to focus their eyes and desires on another world; - a spiritual world; - of which they knew nothing. This meant the focus had to change from “what they can see” to “what they believe”; - to a world of Faith; - in Christ and his teachings!
It is only through Faith that we can believe in the Truths Christ revealed, so it is necessary we make this move “from what we can see”, to “what we believe”; - and Christ’s departure caused the disciples; - and ourselves, to make this shift from an earthly, to a heavenly focus!
So this reading, which deals with the time immediately before Christ’s departure from this world, contains another very important “final message” from Christ to his followers, and that is the necessity of Faith if one is to be a true follower of Christ; - a true Christian, as we have no knowledge of Christ’s heavenly Kingdom, except that which we believe.
And this is why we must value our Faith, as it contains the Truths Christ revealed, and it is a gift we must care for via Prayer and Sacrament; - as many people in the world do not believe, which means there are many around us who live lives focused on this world alone; - and they promote a way of life contrary to the that taught by Christ.
Gospel Acclamation cf.Jn16:7,13
I will send you the Spirit of truth, says the Lord;
he will lead you to the whole truth.
First reading Acts 16:22-34 ·
Become a believer and you will be saved, and your household too
The crowd joined in and showed their hostility to Paul and Silas, so the magistrates had them stripped and ordered them to be flogged. They were given many lashes and then thrown into prison, and the gaoler was told to keep a close watch on them. So, following his instructions, he threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
Late that night Paul and Silas were praying and singing God’s praises, while the other prisoners listened. Suddenly there was an earthquake that shook the prison to its foundations. All the doors flew open and the chains fell from all the prisoners. When the gaoler woke and saw the doors wide open he drew his sword and was about to commit suicide, presuming that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted at the top of his voice, ‘Don’t do yourself any harm; we are all here.’ The gaoler called for lights, then rushed in, threw himself trembling at the feet of Paul and Silas, and escorted them out, saying, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ They told him, ‘Become a believer in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, and your household too.’ Then they preached the word of the Lord to him and to all his family. Late as it was, he took them to wash their wounds, and was baptised then and there with all his household. Afterwards he took them home and gave them a meal, and the whole family celebrated their conversion to belief in God.