Pondering for Sunday, May 17, 2020

Eucharistic Readings for the Sixth Sunday of Easter: Year A

Acts 17:22-31    Psalm 66:7-18  1 Peter 3:13-22 John 14:15-21

“This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.” (John 14:17)

Later in the Gospel of John, Pontius Pilot asked Jesus, “What is Truth.”  Rowan Williams remarked that this was the most profound question in the whole of the New Testament. This former Arch Bishop of Canterbury, a very learned and respected theologian, lifts this question up from the lips of a Roman governor as the most profound question of the New Testament.  The truth is so powerful and yet our Lord Jesus proclaims the truth is part of who he is. He says of himself, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.”

Jesus promised us the Spirit of Truth. But Jesus also says that sometimes we are not able to hear the truth, that the truth is more than we can bear.  This reminds me of Jack Nicholson in the movie, “A Few Good Men” where he protests, “You can’t handle the truth.”  The Church too has had difficulty handling the truth.

Early in the history the Church we supported idea that the earth was flat. A little later, the church refused to believe that the earth was not the center of the universe and that the earth revolved around the sun.  The Church accepted the false notion that the sun was the little light that rose in the East and sat in the West as God had appointed it. People, early astronomers, who taught differently, were condemned by the Church as heretics. It was hard for the Church to believe the truth that we were not the center of the universe.

What truths are we faced with now that we are not ready for or “can’t handle?”  Do you think that perhaps large crowds are to be no more, ever again? Perhaps protective masks will be expected clothing attire from now on, perhaps even matching our attire and fashionable.

We know our Lord Jesus because he abides with us.  And we know him because he is in us. Jesus also says that he has more to tell us but we aren’t ready yet.  This is 2020.  Perhaps we ought to be getting ready for a major shift in human existence. We need to prepare ourselves for, not only a new normal, but also to receive more truth.

Jesus says it is the Spirit of Truth that we will receive and that we know him because he abides in us. Therefore:

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do.  John 

This homily can be seen and heard at: https://youtu.be/QcyP40k_GfQ

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