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Our Gospel this Sunday is taken from that part of John’s Gospel known as the Last Supper Discourse. In it, Jesus prepares his disciples for his death, resurrection, and eventual ascension into heaven. He tells his disciples: “I will not leave you orphans.” Rather, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth………..” Additionally, twice in this Gospel Jesus invites his disciples to demonstrate their love for him by keeping his commandments. And his commandments are simply that we “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all you mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Lk. 10:27)
Clearly for Jesus if we strive to love God and our neighbor this creates a new relationship with them --- a relationship of love. In essence we are family to one another and thus are never orphans.
Once again our first reading this weekend is the Acts of the Apostles. In the section we read this Sunday we hear that Philip “proclaimed the Christ” in Samaria, and “when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent them Peter and John who went down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for it had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
Our second reading this Sunday is taken again from the first Letter of Saint Peter. In today’s section Peter exhorts the people to “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.”
Questions for Reflection/Discussion:
1. Have you ever felt alone or on your own, e.g. orphaned, and then realized God was with you?
2. How have you experienced the Spirit of Truth --- the Advocate promised by Jesus --- in your life?
3. What explanation would you offer as the reason for your hope?