Sixth Sunday of Easter: A Reflection

by Christopher Kramer, Resident Minister

begin quoteJesus gives the disciples the gift of his presence regardless of his physical absence through “another Advocate that will be with you always.”
Over the past two weeks’ Gospel readings, Jesus has been comforting and preparing his disciples for his eventual physical absence from this earth. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, the disciples would find themselves in a world where his love and friendship would not be physically present in their everyday lives. Jesus tells the disciples about the beautiful gift of the Holy Spirit! He gives us this so that they may continue to experience him even when he is gone.
 
In some small ways I can’t help but compare the changes of our daily lives to the changes that the disciples experienced. The life and ways we loved had become intertwined with our identities, and having it any other way has proven difficult.
 
I miss so many things about my weekly routine. I miss laughing at trivia night with my friends. I miss climbing or going on any type of adventure outside. I miss being with students at USD in our small group or at Mass. I miss my family, and being able to visit them. And honestly, there are times where I miss the way that I saw and experienced God on a daily basis. Although I miss these opportunities, I have found ways to continue to experience them regardless of the pandemic. On days that are tough I ask myself, how is God continuing to work within us to help us recognize the goodness, beauty and truth in our everyday lives?
 
Through it all I can not help but think of what USD students are experiencing, especially our graduating seniors. As baccalaureate mass and commencement were scheduled to happen next week, four years of love, memories and accomplishments would be celebrated and commemorated. Words cannot begin to describe how much each student experienced, learned and grew while at USD. I find it nearly impossible to begin to understand the grief experienced by our students who had to finish their last months at USD away from its physical campus. Through all student experiences at USD, God’s love had been present. How do students continue to experience the love they have grown to know during their time at USD?
 
While Jesus performed his mission and ministry, the disciples had grown accustomed to God’s love and the way that they would experience it while in His presence. On a daily basis they would hear him teach, watch him perform miracles, be kind to love all those who had been deemed unworthy and share stories of everlasting love and eternal life. Soon this would all change, and they would have to learn to live in a world without his physical presence. How would God work in the disciples’ lives to allow them to continue to experience Him?
 
Jesus gives the disciples the gift of his presence regardless of his physical absence through “another Advocate that will be with you always.” He repeats this to the disciples by saying, “In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live.” By saying this the disciples come to know that even without Jesus’ physical presence, he is always with them as long as they live! 
 
Jesus was very specific when he told the disciples about the Holy Spirit. He said to them, “I live and you will live.” The disciples would have to continue to live their lives after Jesus was gone. Thank goodness for the Holy Spirit! Carrying out Jesus’ mission would have seemed impossible to them if they didn’t have Jesus ever present to them through the Spirit. The disciples continued to live and were continuously able to find God’s presence in their ministry.
 
As we look to continue our lives each day God’s love is still ever present to us through the Holy Spirit. Additionally, all of the life and love we have experienced will always continue to live in our hearts. The community we have experienced at USD still lives within us. The friendships that we have formed continue to grow and the lessons we have learned continue to shape us. Whether physically present or physically distant, we continue to live life. It is because of the Holy spirit that we are able to continue to live in union with God.

Contact:

Sandee Gutierrez
svasquez@sandiego.edu
619-260-4735

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