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 according to John, Pontius Pilot asked Jesus, “What is Truth.” Rowan Williams (Last Arch Bishop of Canterbury), 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 that 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 of the Church we supported the 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 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 from the Church, 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. But science helped the Church see the truth.
Another painful truth is that even priests of our beloved Church owned slaves before it was outlawed to do so. It seems constitutional law had to bring the morality of truth to our Church. What truths are we faced with now that we are not ready for, or “can’t handle?”
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 2023. 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.
Today is Mother’s Day! As God planned to come among us as one of us, God did this through human motherhood. There is nothing more truthful than motherhood. Mom goes to the hospital and gives birth to us. Motherhood is truth and a true gift from God which God also participated in by coming to us as our Lord Jesus.
Jesus says it is the Spirit of Truth that we will receive and that we know him because he abides in us. Thank You Lord Jesus.
Please keep up your thoughts and prayers and hopes for Ukraine, Russia, Sudan, South Sudan, Israel and our schools.
As we listen to what the Spirit of God is saying to us, let us live to love and serve, and to teach others to love and serve, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John