Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Acts 8:5-8, 14-17
1 Pt 3:15-18
Jn 14:15-21

Most things in life, in order to be done well, require preparation. In order to construct a building, you must first have a plan. You have to know what the building will look like, and how it will be constructed. Materials must be gathered, put in place, and made ready so construction can proceed smoothly. There is a similar concept in cooking it is called mis en place, a French term meaning everything in its place. All the ingredients for a dish are gathered, chopped, measured, and laid out so that when you begin to cook, the process will go smoothly. In the Gospel reading today we find Jesus engaging in a bit of mis en place. Jesus is planning, setting the groundwork for the coming of a new Advocate, the Spirit of truth, who will remain with the followers of Jesus, guiding them, assuring them that they are not, and never will be alone. Jesus is laying the foundation for the Church, a Church asked to follow the commandment of Jesus, to love God and neighbor, a Church that will always have help in living that commandment. In the first reading we see this plan in action. Phillip proclaims Christ to the Samaritans, doing great works and bringing many to Christ. The people of Samaria had been baptized, but had yet to receive the Spirit. Peter and John go to Samaria, pray for these new ingredients of the Church, and the Spirit comes to them. Just as Jesus had planned, the Spirit, the Advocate, came to these new members of the Body of Christ, so they too would never be alone. This plan worked then, and has worked throughout time. We hear the call of Jesus, we turn to Christ, we believe in Christ’s message of love, and that same Spirit, that same Advocate, comes to us, to teach, to guide, to strengthen, to help us live the commandment of love. We are not ever alone, we are not orphans, abandoned to our fate. There is for us an Advocate, who dwells with us, teaches us, and loves us, so we may love.

Deacon John
Sixth Sunday of Easter
April 27, 2008