Clearly the Gospel writer intends these words for the church
and the broader Christian community. The first message
to the church is that obedience indicates or reflects our love
for Christ. That obedience manifests from our following Jesus’
example. Up until this point, Jesus had comforted, helped,
defended, and taught the crowds and his disciples to whom he
speaks in today’s passage.

The second message in the form of a promise is that Jesus
will ask the Father to provide “another Advocate” who will
be with the community forever. We find this reference to the
Advocate only in the Gospel of John. Other words used for this
promised One in various translations of the Bible include these:
Advocate, Comforter, Counselor, Helper—all roles Jesus had played
in their lives. A good and reassuring meaning for this term is
“the one called alongside.” This Advocate will be the “Spirit of
truth” who will abide in the Christian community. Jesus provided
Christians with a divine agent of truth for living in this
world. What the disciples most cherish is what will hold them
together in a world that will not always value what they value.

Not only will the Advocate be “with” the early Christians;
the Advocate will be “in” them. And the call for obedience to
Christ and the promise of an Advocate offer hope to those in
faith communities today. But we have to remember that the
promised Advocate, the gift of the Holy Spirit, comes with this
condition: “If you love me,” Jesus said, “[and] keep my commandments.”
And that’s seldom easy.

Gracious God, may we abide in the Advocate today as we face the world. Strengthen us to be the body of Christ. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read John 14:15-21

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Lectionary Week
May 15–21, 2017
Scripture Overview

The psalm and the Acts reading address the ways in which the concrete faith claims of the community have credence outside that community. They undertake to make the faith credible to outsiders. On the basis of personal testimony, the psalm invites the nations to share in the new life given by God who has saved. Paul makes concrete confessional claims about Jesus in response to the religious inclinations of his Hellenistic listeners. The Gospel and epistle readings focus on the needs of the church community and seek to offer pastoral consolation. The psalm and Acts readings are a “journey out” to the nations and to attentive nonbelievers. The Gospel and epistle readings are a “journey in” to the life and needs of the church.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Psalm 66:8-20. Recall a time when God did not let your feet slip.
• Read Acts 17:22-31. What are your unknown gods? What are your known gods that become idols in your life? How do they affect your relationship with the God who made the world and everything in it?
• Read 1 Peter 3:13-22. When have you suffered while doing good? What did you learn about God? about yourself?
• Read John 14:15-21. How have you experienced the Advocate’s companionship and guidance?

Respond by posting a prayer.

I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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