SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER YEAR A – 13th / 14th May, 2023

The essential idea behind ‘Paraclete’ is that of someone who stands beside you in time of difficulty, providing a comforting, supportive and encouraging presence. Though Jesus may no longer be physically present, the comfort and assurance his presence gave the disciples during his lifetime will continue in the presence of the Holy Spirit. In the face of constant trial and rejection from the world, the Paraclete will be for the disciples ‘the Spirit of Truth’ in the sense of imparting to them a conviction that what they believe and hold on to is indeed reality in the most profound sense. The Gospel begins and ends with the sense that believers ‘have entered into the same reciprocity of love that unites the Father and the Son’. Though the language may suggest it to be the case, the Gospel does not mean that God’s love is conditional upon human observance of the commandments. The essential commandment is that of love. What the Gospel is saying is that when the community is indeed one where love prevails, the atmosphere of love that it experiences is nothing other than a sharing in the communion of love that is the Godhead.