Pentecost (Jn -16, 23-26)
THE ONE WHO LOVES ME
The gospel (Jn -26) is taken from the last of the farewell discourses of Jesus at the Last Supper. It is centred on Jesus’ revelation of himself, responding to the question of Jude: “Do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” ().
Jesus has just distinguished between the world and the one who loves him: “Anybody who receives my commandments and keeps them will be the one who loves me ().
In Jesus, God manifests himself “spiritually” to the one who loves him and closes himself off from the unbelieving world. Or rather, the unbelieving world closes itself off from God. Apart from the glorious manifestation of Jesus at the end of time, the Christian experience happens in the secrecy of the person, in an intimate, spiritual way.
God the Father does not manifest himself any more in thunder and lightning, as on Mount Sinai, but in ways more like “the sound of a gentle breeze” (1 Kg 19:12). When he wants to reveal his saving power, his love and his fatherhood, God is not normally given to the spectacular show. Believing that, I do have problems accepting the claims of those who promote prodigious manifestations of God.
Intimate and personal manifestations of God come about through the mediating work of the Holy Spirit who acts silently deep within us. The Spirit becomes, for the Church and for the individual Christian, the dynamic thrust that brings our interpretation of the word of God to life. This creative interpretation is often a new manifestation of God to us.
If we love Jesus by paying heed to his word and keeping his commandments, we will be loved by him and by the Father.
Let us pray that the Holy Spirit, who is the Father’s gift to the one who loves his Son, may reveal Jesus more fully to us, and in us.