From the Deacon’s Desk 5/17/2020
Today is the 6th Sunday of Easter and we hear from Acts of the Apostles chapter 8 and John’s Gospel chapter 14. In Acts we hear of Philip doing missionary work in Samaria. When the people realize what Philip is doing they accept the word of God readily. They were baptized but had not yet received the Holy Spirit. Peter and John go there, lay hands on them, and then they receive the Holy Spirit. In the Gospel of John, Jesus prepares his disciples for his upcoming departure to be with his Father. Jesus promises that, if they love him and keep his commandments, he will ask the Father to give them an Advocate that will be with them always. Even though they will not be able to see Jesus, he and the Father and the Advocate will be with them.
We see in these readings another example of the Holy Trinity being made present to the Apostles and disciples of Jesus. The Gospel today proclaims the Holy Spirit as an Advocate. What is an Advocate? An Advocate is like the defense attorney in a trial. The prosecutor’s job is to obtain conviction for the crime (as long as there is no reasonable doubt). The Advocate’s job is to defend the person accused and make sure that the defendant is acquitted.
That’s what the Holy Spirit (the Advocate) does for us! Satan’s will is to obtain a guilty verdict for God’s people. The Advocate’s (Holy Spirit’s) job is to make sure that we are not condemned unjustly. If we love Jesus and follow his commandments, we will be following and loving the Father, the Holy Spirit and Jesus. They will stand by us and love us as much as we love them!
Don’t give up hope! This virus will eventually be a thing of the past. Will it change the way we think? Will it change the way we live and love? Most definitely! That is a good thing if we make sure that the change is for the better for all God’s people. We really can do that but it takes effort. Effort, humble prayer and determination that we are in line with God and his wish for us. His wish for us is to love each other as much as we love ourselves! Even the virus can’t change that!
Peace and All Good!