Tuesday of the 5th Week of Easter
(Acts 14: 19 – 28; Ps: 145; John 14: 27 – 31a)
Jesus said, “…the world must know that I love the Father and that I do just as the Father has commanded Me.” Why this “must” – this necessity? Jesus has not come on His own, has not risen as a self appointed prophet or messiah, a charismatic guru – rather His entire life, His existence is centered on The Father.
Jesus’ first recorded words: “Did you not know that I must be in the Father’s house and his last: “Father, into Your hands I commend My Spirit.” There is such an intimacy between the Father and Jesus that it is beyond our comprehension – it cannot really be put into words.
Yet, this love and obedience will be sorely tested; in an anguish that prostrates Him, He will cry to the Father in a bloody sweat “…let this chalice pass!” But His love and obedience are profound, deeper than any anguish – “Father, not My will but Yours be done!”
We can reflect on this and be moved to deeper faith, a more profound appreciation of Jesus as our Lord and Savior but there is more. We are baptized into Him; we dwell in Him and He in us; therefore His love and obedience are present in us as powers, as strengths waiting to be embraced and lived. They are not cloaks that we put on now and then according to our whims – rather extravagant graces to be lived.
He is the Vine and we, the branches; His sacred life forms our hearts, flows in us, sustains us. He came that we might have life, life in abundance – surely this love and obedience are a major part of that life.
St. Paul wrote, “I live, not I, but Christ lives in me!” We can say the same but only really and truthfully in living love and obedience by deliberate acts of our wills and of course, by His grace. Is this not our duty, our response as sons and daughters of The Father? Is this not our privilege as brothers and sisters in and of the Lord Jesus?