Today’s Gospel: John 14:21-26
This gospel passage is a typical example from the Gospel of John—deep, with layers of meaning and odd, cryptic language which could easily lead us in circles of confusion. For example, “Whoever has my commandments and observes them.” The verb is not hears or listens but has, which really does not make sense intellectually.
In addition, John’s dialogue is often irritating because Jesus does not seem to answer questions directly. When Judas asks, “What happened that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?” the text says that Jesus answered him, but He doesn’t; rather He merely repeats the opening command that we must love, obey, and keep His words.
The best way to read this passage and most of John’s gospel is with our hearts, allowing the words to soak into our spirits. As you read this beautiful description of our intimate relationship with God, the Almighty Ruler of the entire universe, let John’s words nourish you spiritually.
Then, Jesus promises even more. When He leaves His disciples physically, He will send “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name—he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.”
John’s poetic style strikes just the right note to reach our hearts because it is mystical and mysterious. If we simply allow his words to seep into our hearts, his words are powerful.
How do I read the gospel of St. John–with my heart as well as my intellect?
Lord, open my heart and spirit so that your words actually nourish my inner life and change me.