15 May 2022
The Gospel. St. John xvi. 5.
Jesus said unto his disciples, Now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
There is a great deal of fear in our own age and culture. It is not just about war, terrorism, and the drugs and violence in our streets. It concerns the emptiness within the soul when it can no longer say what is worth living for and when there are no principles and ideals that bring meaning to our lives.
It’s not the gathering of material goods, wealth, and superficial entertainment that can make life meaningful. Hanging all our hopes on such things leaves us empty, insecure, and frightened. In the past, the fear of death or hell controlled many lives. Suicides and drug overdoses claim many—especially among the young. Today, for the great number, nothing, no hope brings life purpose.
Across the ages, Jesus confronts all our fears. His Resurrection is for us the great promise of real meaning and hope in our lives. The message of the angel to the women, coming early to the tomb and finding it empty, was “be not afraid”. And Jesus comes into the midst of the disciples to counter their fears and tells them, “Peace be with you.”
Unlike the world around us, no fear of death or of emptiness in life can stand against the Risen Christ. He shows us his hands and his side. He makes visible his victory over our death. He has conquered death by His death and Resurrection. We share in His victory by the grace God offers us for our prayers.
Life IS worth living because we know we are, in the end, to be one with God. We are made free by our Savior’s acts. His Resurrection is a new birth for us—in our baptism and throughout our living commitment to Him, we are reborn. And in this rebirth we also reach out to all others that our lives touch in kindness and compassion.
Jesus goes before us to find in His Father’s many mansions a place for us. And when He goes to the Father He has also promised us a Comforter.
The Comforter is the Holy Spirit, the bond of love of the Father and the Son bestowed upon us by the promises of the Father and the Son. “The Spirit of truth”, Jesus says, “will guide you into all truth”. It is this truth which the Holy Spirit provides us with every breath that makes our life meaningful and our help to those in need fearless.
The Risen Christ is the counter to all our fears, and He is in our midst today and forever as we pray...
“O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth who art everywhere present and fillest all things, treasury of blessings and giver of live, come and abide in us and cleanse us of all impurity, and save our souls, O Good One.”
Source: Fourth Sunday after Easter
Fr. David Curry
Christ Church, Windsor, NS
Bishop Edwin Tompkins