Contemplating today's Gospel

Liturgical day: Saturday of the Sixth Week of Easter

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Gospel text (Jn 16:23b-28): Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.

“I have told you this in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures but I will tell you clearly about the Father. On that day you will ask in my name, and I do not tell you that I will ask the Father for you. For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have come to believe that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world. Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”

Comment: Fr. Xavier ROMERO i Galdeano (Cervera, Lleida, Spain)

“I came from the Father (...). Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father”

Today, vigil of our Lord's Ascension into Heaven, the Gospel leaves us with some very fond farewell words. Jesus let us share his most precious mystery; God Father is his origin and, at the same time, his destination: “I came from the Father and have come into the world. Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.” (Jn 16:28).

This great Truth of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity should be constantly resounding into our heads: Jesus is really the Son of God: God Father is his origin and God Father is his destination.

For those who claim to know everything about God, but question Jesus' Divine filiations, today's Gospel has an important thing they should remember: “He, who” the Jews name God is who sent Jesus to us; He is, therefore, the Father to those who believe. With this we are clearly told that God can only and truly be known by those who accept Jesus' Father is God.

But Jesus' Divine filiations, also reminds us of another important thing for our lives: those baptized into Christ are sons of God through the Holy Spirit. And this hides a most beautiful mystery for us: this adoptive fatherhood by God towards us is different of human adoption insofar it has a true foundation in each one of us, as it implies a new birth. Consequently, he who has been accepted in the great Divine Family is no longer a stranger to it.

This is why in the Mass Collects of the Ascension Day we shall all be reminded that all children must follow the steps of the Son: “Grant us, we pray, almighty God, the gift of a blessed joy and the rejoicing of a burning thanksgiving, for the Ascension into the heavens of Christ, your Son, also is our submission and glory, for where the Head ascended the body hopes to ascend, too.” So no Christian should therefore let be left behind, for this is far more important than participating in any marathon race, the finishing line being in Heaven, with the very God!

Thoughts on Today's Gospel

  • “The glory of God is man fully alive; moreover man's life is the vision of God” (Saint Irenaeus of Lyon)

  • “After the great discovery of Jesus Christ entering into the terrain of faith, we also often find that life is dark, hard, difficult — a sowing in tears — but we are certain that in the end, the light of Christ truly gives us the great harvest” (Benedict XVI)

  • “What the Father gives us when our prayer is united with that of Jesus is ‘another Counselor, to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth’ (Jn 14:16-17). This new dimension of prayer and of its circumstances is displayed throughout the farewell discourse. In the Holy Spirit, Christian prayer is a communion of love with the Father, not only through Christ but also in him (...)” (Catechism Of The Catholic Church, Nº 2615)