Abiding in Jesus

05-26-2019Weekly Reflection

The Sixth Sunday of Easter comes just before the Lord’s Ascension. It marks Jesus’ last presence with His disciples. The gospel reading contains Jesus’ tender farewell to His disciples. In His farewell speech he leaves them a special gift — peace of mind and heart. What a beautiful promise, what a special gift. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives". Again we hear the very beautiful statement addressed to the disciples and to all subsequent followers of the New Way: "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word". The two great statements have remained for generations very crucial points for Theological reflections.

However, we reflect on the invitation to keep his word, which is the same as "remain in my word" or "abide in my word". Indeed, the first things here to know and accept is the fact that to truly be a disciple of Jesus, it involves remaining in his word. Actually the Greek word for "remain" means "abiding" or "living" in Jesus’ words. It could be interpreted also to mean soaking in Jesus’ words until they become part of our very being. Here, Jesus is saying that to truly be his disciple it involves not just a superficial learning of his words but a deep pondering on his word so that we are transformed by his word; not just listening to his words but his words becoming part of us and getting to know Jesus through it. Abiding in Jesus’ word is living in deep relationship with Jesus.

Yes, abiding in Jesus is getting to know Jesus and seeing the world with Him. It is thinking the way Jesus would think. To use the words of Jesus in the Gospel today, abiding in Him is knowing the truth, being set free by the truth and no longer being a slave of sin, (John 8:32, 34). Abiding in Jesus ultimately leads to us finding our vocation even when that involves some kind of self-giving as it did for the three men in the first reading (Dan 3). It is living our day centered on Jesus and his word. It is having crucifixes on our walls to remind us of the greatest word of all, the word of Jesus from the cross. It is living the moment of Holy Communion as our closest moment of the day with Jesus.

Let us pray then for the Grace to be more docile to the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives that reveals to us the true presence of Jesus the eternal Word of God. Let us allow ourselves also to be healed by that same word and become true ambassadors of His love and peace in the broken world.