Lectio Divina 2020-05-15

Our Lectio Divina group took the Gospel reading for the 6th Sunday in Easter Year A: John 14: 15-21 “I shall ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate.”

Some of the participants have kindly offered their reflections. In no particular order we have…

One

“If you love me you will obey my commandments”. We may not know what it is to love him, but obedience is easier to comprehend, though not necessarily easier to do.

As with the earlier readings, we see the loving complex interplay between Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and a firm promise of what things will be like when Jesus is no longer there in the flesh.

This Spirit of Truth is what we are invited to experience even though the world does not see or comprehend. We see and experience with spirit eyes rather than just the physical ones that the world depends on.

And we seek to worship in Spirit and in Truth, and from elsewhere Jesus also promises that we shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set us free.

We hold on to and trust these rich promises of grace. Thus are they fulfilled in us. I borrow from a hymn…

Two

So much of this text spoke out this morning.
In the previous chapter opinion John writes that Jesus gives a new commandment, that we love one another and today we read the words “if you love me you will obey what a I command”

I ask myself – how well have I loved today and where have I not shown God’s love today? What is God asking of me?

Jesus is aware of the anxiety of the disciples. They are worried about what will happen when he goes away and Jesus promises another Counsellor/Advocate that will stay with them/us forever. This Spirit will be universal.

“I will not leave you as orphans” what beautiful words. “I will come to you” Living alone during these few weeks has be challenging but these words made me remember that we are not alone. Jesus says he will ask his father to send us another advocate/counsellor who will not leave us. We don’t need to feel lost and I don’t need to rely on my own resources! The spirit will always stand by me and lives in me. An abiding presence that can easily be drowned by MY plans and concerns. How do I remain open to his Spirit?

“I am in my Father, you are in me, and I am in you” The divine spark is within us all. How does that affect my relationships?
One – ness – we don’t just imitate Jesus but fully participate in him. It is hard to comprehend but – wow. There is no distance between me and a God. I am reminded of the Rublev painting – the icon of the Trinity and the space for me. God is love. The energy of love is connected to God. How do I show that love to others – care and compassion.

Three

A small passage but with such a powerful message. In my Bible version the following three words are used. I is said eight times, you is used nine times and love is used five times. Jesus our God if simply telling us ‘ I LOVE YOU’ . All we have to do is accept his love !!! Thank you Lord for our lives and the love you shower down on us. Love and prayers to my Lectio friends 🙏🙏🙏

Four

My words were ‘He will give you another comforter’

Jesus is our comforter but he said to his disciples while you do not see me I will give you another comforter, He lives with you constantly.

Jesus is ever practical, he’s aware of how much help we need and is always making provision for it. Like a mother or father, always looking out for their children. Even the language he uses i.e. I will not leave you orphaned points to this loving parenthood over us. This in it’s self comforts me. He cares about every element of my life, he’s always there any time, any place filling us with His thoughts and hopes and dreams. As I meditate on this scripture it lifts me up, helps me focus again, that the God of the Universe, who is beyond my comprehension cares about me.

Five

I was struck by “On that day you will understand that I am in my Father and you in me and I in you.” Is He just talking to the Disciples or also to me? Maybe in the past I have assumed He is just talking to the Disciples. But could He be also talking to me? I don’t think I can understand that I could be in Jesus and Jesus could be in me. But Jesus says that we will understand this when He sends the Advocate, the Holy Spirit. So perhaps there is more work for the Holy Spirit and one day I will understand.

After her revelations Julian of Norwich puts it this way:

“And I saw no difference between God and our substance, but, as it were, all God; and still my understanding accepted that our substance is in God, that is to say that God is God, and our substance is a creature in God. For the almighty truth of the Trinity is our Father, for he made us and keeps us in him. And the deep wisdom of the Trinity is our Mother, in whom we are enclosed. And the high goodness of the Trinity is our Lord, and in him we are enclosed and he in us.”

Six

…….and I shall love her/him and show myself to her/him.

Sit, sit, sit, distractions decrease, fear melts. You know you are loved. Hallelujah 💞🙏

Seven

‘He is the Spirit who reveals the truth about God’

We always start Lectio by asking the Holy Spirit to be with us to enable us to hear what Jesus is saying to us in the Gospel passage and this is why.

I used to wonder as a child what it would have been like to meet Jesus when he was here on earth in human form. I used to be quite envious (yes, one of the seven deadly sins) of the people who could speak to Him and touch Him. I now know, of course, that I can speak to Him whenever I like in prayer. I can touch Him when I receive Him in Holy Communion and unlike those people I used to envy, I know that he is with me always even to the end of time through the Holy Spirit. An amazing example of the Holy Trinity at work in our lives.

Almighty ever-living God, only support of our human weakness, look with compassion upon the sorrowful condition of your children who suffer because of this pandemic; relieve the pain of the sick, give strength to those who care for them, welcome into your peace those who have died and through this time of tribulation, grant that we may all find comfort in your merciful love. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

Eight

John 14, 15-21

The lines that stay with me are ‘He will give you another helper, who will stay with you forever’ and ‘When I go you will not be left all alone’

I am reminded of Psalm 139, which in my bible is entitled ‘God’s complete knowledge and care. What comfort those words have given me on my journey. Wherever I am God is. I may not always sense His presence but He is there. It helps me to accept that His help is available no matter what my day may bring. He shows up in the most unexpected ways letting me know He hasn’t abandoned me. Maybe in something I hear, read, see, touch…. Yes I can trust him.

Nine

“Jesus said…I shall ask the Father… he will send another advocate… The Spirit of Truth”

” What is truth?” is the perennial question for me; and to know what Jesus means by “truth”, by “worshipping in spirit and in truth”, a life-long search.

I was brought up sharply with this, when recently praying, as often, with Ephesians 6: putting on the armour of God. I came to the “belt of truth”.I had to stop and take a long look.

What exactly was the truth I was putting on here that would ward off the enemy? Well, the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: God sent his son … that we be saved and with him have victory over evil.

Since then, I’ve wondered… does just saying this protect me? The words are easy to say and we can think we mean them but how deep is my belief? Is it really deep enough to banish Satan?

So, I am very grateful for this passage today. As I ponder, my hope is that the Spirit of Truth will bring the gift of conviction about the nature of God’s relationship with us, of who we are to him, in him. Also, a clearer view of how I fail him and others, accepting my own deepest truth.

I am hoping this Spirit of Truth will impress upon me more than ever the gap between that vision God has of me and the reality of how I am now, and how I see myself,and yet be unafraid. “Truth is beauty” and in this seeing in the Spirit maybe I will see more clearly the beauty of God and of myself and rejoice in God’s truth that he will totally redeem and restore me.

Part of God’s truth is his patience of which he will grant me a share until all is made whole.Knowing my true place with God will bring humility and that is what wins God’s heart; makes him bend down towards us.It is also what Satan hates, so maybe I will be able to put on that armour confidently,in Christ.

“The Truth will set you free.” I have many experiences of being set free from spiritual blindness/deafness;wrong behaviour and addictions.The freeing came through prayer,alone and with others, the Sacraments and the deliverance ministry.

I thank you God and trust that you will finish your work. I thank you for your promise to send the Spirit of Truth;help me to receive deeply and gratefully.
I love you. Thank you for your great love of me.This is my prayer, in Jesus’ name.

With continued Eastertide blessings to all…

Ten

Let me great you in a different way today, with these wise words:
‘The Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.’ 2 Cor 13:14

My words today were ‘He (the Holy spirit) is with you, He is in you’

Today’s Gospel has raised many questions in me.

First, I was wondering about how many different names we use to try to define the Holy Spirit: Advocate, Paraclete, Comforter, Helper, Spirit of Jesus, Spirit of God, Spirit of Truth, Spirit of glory…

I thought that for me was always easy to picture Jesus, or the Father (especially since I have my own children), but the Holy Spirit…somehow was less tangible. Though, with the time, I have became more conscious of the Holy Spirit as a great force present in our world. And yet… still it is hard to properly view He in me. Thus, today’s reading made me pause and meditate in the greatness of such a Gift, the Holy Spirit, no less, is with me, lives in me. How awesome!!!

But, somewhere, (sorry, I don’t remember whom said it), I read that the Holy Spirit does three things in a person:

  1. Brings the presence of Jesus
  2. Produce the likeness of Jesus
  3. Works the power of Jesus

To be honest I am not sure that I reflect the likeness of Jesus. I am conscious of the presence of Jesus in other people, I can see the power of Jesus working in the world. The question, for me, is if I follow You, Lord. And I know the answer is not always.

‘If you love me’, I do love you Lord, more and more day by day. ‘You will see me’ I recognise you in other people, but it is hard to recognise you in myself.
‘ I am in the Father, you are in me, and I am in you’ I would feel happy indeed if others can catch glimpses of You in me Lord.

Help me Holy Spirit, guide me, and as in the Hymn, melt me, mould me, fill me, use me.
Spirit of the Living God, Fall afresh on me, on all of us, on all this world in so much need of You.