Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.
”I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
God Dwells Among Us
“We will come to them… and make our home with them…” This promise comes just after Jesus washes his disciples’ feet and just before he’s arrested. Though this promise comes at the end of his life and the end of this Gospel of John, I can’t help but be amazed at how much it resembles God’s promise at the beginning of his life and the beginning of the Gospel: that “the Word became flesh and lived among us” (John 1:14).
Whether at the beginning of the Gospel or the end, whether in the incarnation of Jesus or in the descent of the Holy Spirit, it’s clear that God’s Good News, so key to this Easter season, hinges on nearness. Dwelling in us. Dwelling among us. What does this mean to me? Do I trust in the peace that Christ’s closeness, that the Spirit’s stirrings within me promise?
God of Peace,
You told us very clearly:
Do not let your hearts be troubled
And do not let them be afraid.
But mine is. Both troubled and afraid.
Because my world, our world, isn’t easy.
And I want to be honest about that with you
And with my brothers and sisters, my traveling companions.
But help me to realize that this trouble and fear is not the whole story,
Because you promise, too, a nearness, a closeness,
A coming to make your home with me that brings me,
In my closer moments,
The tremendous hope of unspeakable peace.
Help me to dwell there with you,
My troubled and fearful heart and all,
Ready for your Spirit’s stirrings of peace.
—Fr. Garrett Gundlach, SJ