Fifth Sunday of Easter
May 14, 2017
Do you ever long with nostalgia for the “good old days”? Hello, I’m Franciscan Father Greg Friedman with the Sunday Soundbite for the Fifth Sunday of Easter.
I wonder if the early Christians, after the excitement of the first Pentecost had worn off, longed for their own “good old days.” As they found themselves “in for the long haul,” trying to set up structures and institutions for the growing community, did they wish they were back when it was just Jesus and a little band of disciples?
The passage from the Last Supper in John’s Gospel today seems to anticipate that situation. Jesus reassures his troubled followers that he’s going to prepare a place for them. When they want to know the “way” to this place, Jesus tells them he is “the way.”
The disciples will go on to do Christ’s work—a mission to a wider world. Elsewhere in that Last Supper discourse, Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit will be present to remind them of all he’s said and done.
The spread of the gospel challenged the fledgling community as the Church grew, and encompassed other languages, cultures and regions. New structures and new ministries would be needed.
The same is true in our day. Facing a new millennium, we need to know the Holy Spirit–Christ’s gift to the Church–is present to teach us what’s needed today, and unite us to Christ: our way, our truth, and our life.