What would life be like for them after his death and resurrection? A good answer to that question can be found in the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles There we discover Paul and Barnabas proclaiming the Good News in Lystra and Derbe. Immediately before that, they were the objects of the peoples’ wrath (“there was an attempt in Iconium. . . to attack and stone Paul and Barnabas”).
What follows is the disciples “doing what Jesus did”: like Jesus, they were to be the object of scorn by many to whom they brought the Good News; like Jesus, they healed the man lame from birth; and, like Jesus, they were prematurely venerated and they fought against such an idolization. But all this activity gets us a bit ahead of the story in today’s readings.
Where did these disciples get the courage and strength to stand in the place of Jesus as they do here? The impetus for that flowed out of their faith in Jesus to whom they committed their lives for service. That fortitude comes from the Holy Spirit that Jesus promised his close friends in today’s gospel passage.
“Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father and I will love (that person) and reveal myself to him/her.” And not only that, but Jesus promises that He and the Father will come to that person and “make our dwelling with them.” That reminds us to refer back to the prologue of John’s gospel which culminates in the incredible claim that the Word “pitched his tent” among us human beings, that he was made “flesh” for us so that we could all share in his Trinitarian life – life with the Word (made flesh in Jesus the Christ) who came from the Father to be our rescuer and with Their Holy Spirit sent to us to bring about faith-actions that link us together (sisters and brothers) and to the Holy Trinity.
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