- Acts of the Apostles 17:22-31
- Psalm 66:7-18
- 1 Peter 3:13-22
- John 14:15-21
Jesus does not leave his followers orphaned. Through the Holy Spirit Jesus comes to abide with his disciples of every generation. As Pentecost draws near, we are reminded that the risen Christ dwells in each of us as the Spirit of truth. We receive this Spirit in baptism and prayer that in our gathering at the Eucharistic table the Spirit will transform us to be the body of the risen Christ in the world.
In Athens, Paul faces the challenge of proclaiming the gospel to Greeks who know nothing of either Jewish or Christian tradition. He proclaims that the “unknown god” they worship is the true Lord of heaven and earth who will judge the world with justice through Jesus, whom God has raised from the dead. Christians have a zeal for doing what is right in God’s eyes no matter what the circumstances because in baptism we are saved and made alive. For Peter, our Christian beliefs and behavior are to be a matter of public record just as our baptism is.
Jesus assures his followers, “the world will not longer see me.” The Spirit gives the ability to “see” Christ in the world. How does this site relate to the sacrament of Holy Communion, where the bread and wine become the means of Christ’s gracious, visible presence?
Questions for reflection:
- Our world today is very much like early church times. How might we proclaim the gospel in our communities to those who have not heard the gospel?
- What are the promises that Jesus makes in today’s Gospel to those who follow him? How do these promises continue to be manifested in our lives?
- Jesus uses the word “love” several times. How would you define love as it is expressed in these verses? What is the relationship between obedience and love?
- Jesus promised to send an Advocate to be with the disciples forever. What is the role of this Advocate? How do we experience the Advocate in the world today? Have you ever been an advocate for someone else? How does this compare?
- This Thursday we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension. How does today’s (and last week’s) farewell address from Jesus to the disciple give us strength to continue on after his ascension?