Posted by: matt25 | May 1, 2008

Reflection on Jn 14:15-21

Abraham Lincoln once asked….
How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg?
Four; calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.

President Lincoln was calling attention to the nature of truth. It doesn’t depend upon the approval or a description of the culture that currently considers it in or out of fashion. It stands on its own merit because it is the truth.

Gospel in John 14 15-21 is all about the truth that is our Christian faith.

Just
prior to this we read, Jesus tells Thomas “I am the way, the truth, and
the life” and now we read what happens when we LOVE “the way the truth
and the life.”

IF…. That’s how it started… remember?
That means we have to do our part to unlock the rest.
IF you love me…. Then a whole bunch of stuff happens.

If we Love Christ we keep his commandments. One
of which he just gave in Chapter 13 (: 34) “I give you a new
commandment: love one another…. As I have loved you, so you also should
love one another.” That’s our part. If we love Christ we love one another. We love in a way that is willing to sacrifice for the good of the other. We
do this for our spouses, our children, our neighbors, for the homeless
man downtown, for the victims of hurricanes, for the unborn, for those
who think differently than we do and even *GASP* those who worship
differently than we do.

If we do our part, which is pretty radical, then watch what that unlocks for us….

The Father will give us another Advocate, to be with us always, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept. Not only will the Father give us the Spirit but… he will remain with us and will be in us!

Think about what this means….

God will dwell within us….

It means that our radical choice to love, in a way that the world just plain doesn’t get… Allows us to live in communion with our God….
That is heaven on earth… that is the “Thy kingdom come” part of the Our Father

I started out by saying this Gospel reading is all about the truth that is our Christian faith.  But John also tells us that this is a truth that the world cannot accept.

Well, what does the world accept? How does that contrast with the truth that is love?

Television can give you a certain sense of worldly values..

How many of you have seen the Survivor show? What are the values of “Outwit, Outlast, Outplay”? Does it say that winning is the most important thing or is it actually the only thing? How does that contrast with the truth that is love?

What about the daytime soaps and the evening series that are so popular like Desperate Housewives? Portrayals of behavior are presented there as being common and acceptable. How does that contrast with the truth that is love?

It would seem that we have a bit of an issue here. If we are going to do our part, we can’t just go with the flow. When
we hear someone speak a message of fear or death… that is an invitation
to enter gently into a dialog with them and speak a message of love and
communion.

If someone advocates for abortion it is an invitation to share our understanding of the sanctity of life.

If someone argues that war is the only solution it is an opportunity to discuss alternatives that could lead to peace.

If
we are told that immigrants are a “drain on our resources,” and how
they are taking jobs away from us. It is an invitation to bring up
studies that show immigrants help create jobs instead of take them away.

All of this takes courage. Most of us don’t want to stand out as different and we would rather keep our mouths shut. We don’t want to take the “risk” of being countercultural or politically incorrect. Heck, sometimes we even feel embarrassed about praying before we eat at a restaurant.

In reality there is nothing wrong with those feelings. And our feelings do not prevent us from… or allow us to… enter into the communion of love with God. That result springs from the choices that we make and act upon against the backdrop of our feelings.

Our
love for Christ invites us to make the choice to be obedient.  Our
decision to be obedient in loving one another unlocks our hearts to
recieve the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit lives in and guides us to speak, act, and think in communion with God.  And our communion with God inflames the fire of our love that started this process.

So pay attention to those internal promptings to do the right thing.
Pray for the wisdom and grace to help you know what that is and how to do it.
Let your love overcome your fear and actually do the right thing.

Then just watch what you unlock, and how your love grows.

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