SUNDAY BREAKFAST WITH THE WORD
1, Acts 8:5-8, 14-17, 1 Peter 3:15-1, John 14:15-21
Orphan from the Greek word Orphanous describes a child whose parents have died. It describes someone whose parental care and love have been deprived from him or her due to the death of the parents. In this situation, he/she is left in total abandonment or desertion due to the death of the parents. Some also see an orphan as someone who lost both parents may be due to separation or any other circumstance. The life of an Orphan is not an easy one. Being separated from one’s birth family is a traumatic experience. Jesus knows how painful, and traumatic leaving His apostles could be, especially in the manner, it would be. His passage though describes a disciple whose master has died, but like one whose hope and parental care have been dashed to the ground. Jesus today reignites the hope His disciples that despite whatever might happen, He will still be with them. This is Jesus’ assurance to all who are His disciples today, though it might seem all hope is dashed to the ground, He will never allow us to be like children without parents.
Remain In His Love
The surest way to be partakers of this promise is to remain in the love of Jesus. Remember in Chapter 15:5, He says cut off from me, you can do nothing. There are blessings in store for those who truly live in the love of Christ, and totally connected to Him. The only way to prove this, is to obey and keep His words and be guided by His divine principles. Jesus says “If you love me you will keep my commandments, one who has my commandments, and keeps them, that person is one who loves me”. We can never love Him if we cannot obey Him• Jesus wants us to live in love and obedience to Him so that He can freely dwell in us through the Power of the Holy Spirit. And one of those commandments remember, is to love one another. You cannot expect to live in this Divine Presence when we live in hatred, wickedness and detest the Word of God. Towards the end of this chapter in verse 24, Jesus ends this discussion saying “If a man loves me, He will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him. He who does not love me does not keep my words.
The Paraclete will be With You Forever
Jesus seeing how troubled His disciples were, said “I shall ask the Father, and He will give you another Paraclete to be with you forever. To understand Jesus very well, we have to understand what the meaning of paraclete is. Parakletos can mean a lawyer who pleads your case or a witness who testifies on your behalf. It can refer to a person who gives comfort, counsel, or strength in time of need. It can refer to a person who comes to the aid of someone who is in danger. The literal meaning is “someone called in… to help” in a time of need (Barclay, 194). Parakletos has been translated as Advocate, Counselor, Comforter, and Intercessor etc. An Advocate may serve in the court system, in the health care network, or in an educational institution, while other advocates may press the legislature to act on behalf of a certain cause. Paraclete is then someone who helps or acts on your behalf, he pleads for you in some certain cases. Here the gospel of John gives us the impression that the Spirit is the Advocate who brings our case up before God in the hope that God will do something merciful for us. Jesus promises that this advocate is not just going to be with us today, or tomorrow or next tomorrow but forever. Good News indeed. What appeared to be bad news to the disciples, namely Jesus’ departure from them, turned out to be the best of news for both them and us. This time, it will be no longer a momentary presence but everlasting presence, it will no longer be Jesus working only Him but in His disciples who will now do the major work by the power of the Holy Spirit that lives in them.
1. The first reading describes how the Holy Spirit helped Philip, the Deacon, to preach powerfully and convert the Samaritans in large numbers. The reading goes on to explain how the baptized Samaritans received a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit through the imposition of hands by the apostles Peter and John. With the Holy Spirit, we can do mighty things in His name. In the second reading, Peter explained how Jesus was raised in the power of the same Spirit. And Paul says in Romans 8:11 ”And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. And today also, Jesus reminded His disciples, that this Spirit lives in you (John 14:17). We are no longer Orphans anymore if we acknowledge this Presence and work under His power and guidance.
2. Jesus calls the Spirit “another” Advocate, which assumes that Jesus also is an Advocate (John 14:16). Yet calling the Spirit “another Advocate” does not mean He is “another Jesus.” The Spirit continues Jesus’ work without taking Jesus’ place. The Spirit remains with the disciples; He is constantly working with the Church and to all those who remain in the love of Jesus and keep his commandments.
The world today is like an orphan thrown in the midst of confusion and utter abandonment, it looks as if God is silent, nothing is working truly, everything is going down, all hope seems to be lost, this was exactly the fear of the apostles. The problem is that this same world undergoing hardship and confusion has refused to acknowledge the presence and power of God. Jesus and the Spirit come from the Father and are sent into the world to save the world, but the world refused to listen. Jesus communicates what He has received from His Father and the Spirit declares what He has received from Jesus (John 7:17; 16:13),Yet the world does not obey. The world is only interested in its own designs, underrating everything spiritual, yet the world continues to suffer. The Holy Spirit comes to help, comfort, intercede, teach, bear witness to the truth, and expose the sin of the world (John 3:20; 7:14; 14:26; 15:26; 16:8; 18:37), yet the world refuses to repent, we will hear but will never do, we want to be made well, but we have refused to be made well. The world refuses to recognize and receive Jesus or the Spirit (John 1:11; 14:17). We live in hatred, selfishness, wickedness, betrayal, everyday killing, incessant quest for money, immorality, no care for one another, yet things are not going well with us, nothing is moving, instead of making a stop, have a rethink and redress our steps, we continue to wallow in our ignorance and still continue in our suffering. Jesus has not left us, He is still with us through the power of the Holy spirit, But the problem is that we have failed to acknowledge this divine presence in our lives. This is why we look like orphans but truly we have a helper who is ready to intercede and help us but this Helper has been relegated and detested. Let us go back to the drawing board and seek the face of the Father, Let us implore the help of the Spirit of God who worked mightily with the apostles, that He might work mightily with us in this present time. Amen
May God bless you beloved and protect you from every danger. Amen. You can drop your comments and feedback in the reply section.
Fr. Sanctus MArio