Jn 16: 12 – 15

Father, you wait for us until we are open to you.
We wait for your Word to make us receptive.
Attune us to your voice, to your silence.
Speak and bring your Son to us – Jesus – the Word of your peace.

Take a moment to read our text!

At the first reading it really seems very difficult to understand what the writer is saying.  This is a good sign.  So often after reading a text just once we jump to the conclusion that we understand it completely.  There is a wise saying related to this instant understand syndrome. “It is almost certain that the first message you receive from a text is not the message that God has for you.”

Lesson number one: Read the text reflectively, over and over again. Use your imagination.

If you do this with today’s text you may well see that short as it is it divides up into parts that we can then tackle one at a time.  Here’s my division.

12 I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 

13When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth: 

for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

14He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

15All that the Father has is mine.  For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

* * * * * *

12 I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.

Am I hearing correctly?  Is this saying that Jesus did not have sufficient time to complete his mission? No!  He told us everything necessary for leading a full and fruitful life.  However we are living in a very different world to that in which Jesus lived.  We have situations and difficulties that nobody even dreamt about two thousand years ago.  Yet we are all in need of help.  Jesus is telling us that the Holy Spirit will continue to guide us all.  It is important that we realise that the Holy Spirit is active in all our lives and not in just a select few.  “As for you, the anointing which you received from Jesus Christ remains with you; you need no other teacher; you learn all you need to know from this anointing.  (1 John 2: 26)

We are all called to learn from Jesus.
We are all called to learn from the scriptures.
It is so important that we do not do this alone.  As we share with each other in groups the Holy Spirit is at work within the group.  What one person misses somebody else will notice.  My insights will enrich those around me.  My mistakes will be gently corrected by the group.

Prayer

Father, forgive us that as followers of Jesus, we think we have a monopoly or even a first option, on the truth.  Teach us to welcome truth wherever we find it; remind us that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.  Help us to act upon what Jesus taught us:

“I am the bread of life.” Jn 6: 48
“I am the light of the world.” Jn 8: 12
“I am the resurrection and the life.” Jn 11: 25

* * * * * *

13When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth:
and declare it to you.

How do you and I relate to TRUTH.  Let us examine our lives.  Are there things in the way we conduct our lives that suggest that in some aspect of our lives are dishonest.  Do I fail to admit to short-comings?  Is my way of speaking contradicted by my behaviour?  Do I kneel down in church, a picture of piety, and yet at home I make life miserable by my selfish behaviour.  Come let us live out of truth.