Thursday, May 2, 2013

Jesus' Last Wishes

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
May 5, 2013

John 14:23-29

Jesus is bidding farewell to his disciples. They look sad and cowed. They all know they are experiencing the last hours with their Master. What will happen when he's gone from them? Who will they go to? Who will defend them? Jesus wants to hearten them by unveiling his last wishes to them. Let my Message not be lost. It's Jesus' first wish. That his Good News of God not be forgotten. That his followers keep alive the memory of the Father's humanizing project -- that "kingdom of God" of which he has spoken so much. If they love him, this is the first thing they have to take care of -- "Whoever loves me will keep my word ... whoever does not love me, will not keep it."

After twenty centuries, what have we done with Jesus' Gospel? Have we kept it faithfully or are we manipulating it based on our own interests? Do we welcome it in our hearts or are we neglecting it? Do we present it authentically or do we conceal it with our doctrines?

The Father will send you an Advocate in my name. Jesus doesn't want them to remain orphans. They won't feel his absence. The Father will send them the Holy Spirit who will protect them from the risk of deviating from him. That Spirit that they have sensed in him, sending him towards the poor, will impel them in the same direction too.

The Spirit will "teach" them to better understand all that he has taught them. It will help them delve ever deeper into his Good News. It will "remind" them of what they have heard. It will educate them in his lifestyle.

After twenty centuries, what spirit reigns among Christians? Do we let ourselves be guided by the Spirit of Jesus? Do we know how to bring his Good News up to date? Are we attentive to those who are suffering? Where does his renovating spirit impel us to go today?

My peace I give you. Jesus wants them to live with the same peace they have been able to see in him, fruit of his intimate union with the Father. He gives them his peace. It's not like the one the world can offer them. It's different. It will be born in their hearts if they accept the Spirit of Jesus.

That's the peace they are to spread whenever they come to a place. The first thing they will disseminate when proclaiming the kingdom of God to make way for a healthier and more just world. They must never lose that peace. Jesus insists, "Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid."

After twenty centuries, why are we paralyzed by fear of the future? Why so much mistrust of modern society? There are many people who are hungry for Jesus. Pope Francis is a gift from God. He's inviting all of us to move towards a Church that's more faithful to Jesus and his Gospel. We can't remain passive.

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