Among the several themes, the more important in today’s Gospel is about obedience as our way of showing love for God. Jesus tells us that we can’t love Him and yet disobey His words. He is the perfect model of obedience: throughout His earthly life, He was always in communion with the Father. As He prepares to leave, He tells of the Holy Spirit’s abiding presence as an assurance of strength for the disciples. Similarly when we’re tested and tired we can bank on the Holy Spirit for guidance and strength. We can’t read much often about the Holy Trinity than in these verses in the Gospel of St. John. It is a discourse at the Last Supper that is so deep with wisdom, revealing the unity of the Trinity throughout salvation history. As the world is filled with hypocrisy, deceit, lies and greed, we can get distracted in getting temporary happiness that in doing so also brings with it a lot of stress and pain. However, if we aim to grow in Jesus’ love, everything in our lives changes for the better. While not necessarily as dramatic as it can be, it is life-changing as among the first fruits is we start thinking of our own needs less and instead, think more about the needs of others. As we live focusing on Jesus, we grow in virtue and patience for others. Our love for Jesus allows us to see through the trials because this growth is fuelled by love which makes us reflect God’s love to others. As we grow in His love, the light of Christ brightens up the dark recesses of our lives. Growing in God’s love can be challenging as well as humbling but we also change our behaviours and attitudes to one of obedient discipleship. It is not easy that is why He assures us of God’s peace which is deep and lasting. Jesus knows these difficulties that’s why He forewarned and assured His disciples (including us) of the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.” (Jn. 14: 27) Our capacity to love expands as a result of this peace. This gift of peace blesses us with the grace to resist evil and live holy lives. For it to last, we have to believe and trust in the Divine Providence. This is the grace that tells us not to worry and fear. It is the serenity that can only come from the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To sustain us through, we have to get connected with Him constantly through prayer, as it allows us to open to the leading of God in our lives. Let us pray then that we may listen more than speak our needs to Him; that we may allow God to speak to our hearts and souls, knowing fully well that the Lord knows our needs even before we mention it to Him.
“Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him and we will come to him.” (Jn. 14: 23)