MAY 11. EASTER. Wk 6. Tue. Jn.16 5-11
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.