Soul Food for Young Adult Communities, May 5, 2013. 6th Sunday of Easter.

SOUL FOOD FOR YOUNG ADULT COMMUNITIES.  6TH SUNDAY OF EASTER, MAY 5th, 2013.

(A community can be two, three or any number. Two friends are always a good start.)

The Gospel for this Sixth Sunday of Easter is from St. John’s Gospel, during the final night of his life, with his friends, when he had so many gifts to leave with them.  Find it in John 14, verses 23 to 29.  Click here for Mass Readings for this Sunday.

Letter to Sinead, Mark and Friends, – young adults.

Dear Sinead, Mark and Friends,

Got a text message about three days ago from the Mom of a dear friend whom I’ve known since he was very young. I’ll call him K for short. K has been struggling with drug addiction for several years, and was at death’s door a few times earlier this year. At last, he chose to go for help into a rehab centre. He’s out now, and making a go of it. His Mom texted me: ‘K is doing well. Talked to him last night. Thank God… and thanks to many people for their prayers. He is back to mass and says the only way he can stay well is having God in his life. A miracle. Talk soon.’ Knowing how far down he was a few months ago, this is certainly a miracle. K has found some peace, and it wasn’t from himself, for sure.

Maybe, for him and for us, there’s eating and drinking and new life and hope is this Sunday’s Gospel reading, from John 14: 23-29.

Jesus, in the most intimate and important night of his life, with his chosen twelve gathered around him, leaves them (= us, in this generation)  three gifts, in this passage of St. John.

  1. He leaves them his own and his Father’s presence, with them, within them: ‘Those who love me will keep my word and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.’ (verse 23).
  2. He leaves them the Holy Spirit, who will teach us everything and remind us of all that Jesus as said to us. (verse 26). The words he uses here, about the Holy Spirit, are ‘Paraclete’, a Greek word, or Advocate (a Latin word), both of which mean ‘Someone you call to stand by your side’,- whether in a law-court, or just as a friend and companion, a ‘Comforter’, someone who makes you strong, who’s your forever friend.
  3. ‘Peace I leave you,- my peace I give you’,- a different kind of peace from what the world might give us, but a peace and confidence and joy deep down in us, a trust that, whatever may happen, all manner of things will be well.

Could you talk about these gifts among yourselves, in your own community or group? Could you remind each other that God the Father, and Jesus and the Holy Spirit (The Most Holy Trinity) are here and now making their home in each of us, and in our community (of 2 or more!) if we welcome the Word of Jesus?

Could we encourage each other that we indeed have a Teacher, a Companion, a Friend-by-our-side, one who makes us strong ,- ‘confirms’ us, makes us firm in faith and life, – a forever friend ?

Could we lift each other’s spirits up with the reminder that Jesus wants greatly to give us his peace?

Read the passage again, slowly, asking the same Spirit to open your heart and mind to the gifts being offered. Find a friend or two to share the passage with you. And remember, Father, Son and Spirit are making their home with the lot of you.

You might enjoy listening to this with a few friends. There are young folk-groups that love it. ‘Lord, I give you my heart‘, featuring Holly Dawson.  Click here.

Fr. Seamus Devitt, C.Ss.R.          seamus.devitt@redemptorists.ie.

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