For these last few days before our July 3 Faith On the Ferry get together, I decided to give you a good Bible study, with many Scripture passages related to what we are reading in the last half of John 14. If you are not able to join us on the ferry, this little study will enrich you in your private meditations, as will the words of Pope Francis, which I am placing at the end of this post. – JC
Looking first at John 14:15-17, as well as verses 21 and 23: In one word, what is it that the Lord requires in order for a person to be truly receptive to the intimate relationship with God in the power of the Holy Spirit?
Verse 16 – See Romans 8:26…….Verse 17 – See I Cor.2:14-16
How do verses 17 and 20 relate to verse 23?
What are three things which the Lord promises to us (in verses 17, 21 and 23) when we receive His Spirit in greater fullness?
Verses 25,26: See St. Peter’s teaching, reminding Christians about the authority of the Apostles’ preaching and teaching after Jesus’ Resurrection and Ascension, in II Peter 1:16-21.
Verse 26 – See Luke 24:49 and Acts 2:33……..Verse 27 – See Colossians 3:15 and Philippians 4:4-7…….Verse 28 – See John 10:29,30……Verse 30 – See Hebrews 4:15.
According to verse 31, how, in Jesus’ eyes, is His own love for the Father proven to the world? How does this relate to verse 23?
Okay, now that you’ve been steeped in the Scriptures for awhile, here is a portion of Pope Francis’ catechesis on the Creed, given during his Wednesday audience, May 15: This is a prayer that we need to say every day: “Holy Spirit, make my heart open to God’s Word so that my heart might be open to good, so that my heart might be open to God’s beauty every day.” Let me ask you: how many of you pray to the Holy Spirit every day? It will be few of you, but we must satisfy this desire for Jesus and pray every day to the Holy Spirit that He might open our hearts to Jesus. Embracing the word and the truth of faith so that they might become life takes place and grows with the action of the Holy Spirit. In this sense it is helpful to learn from Mary, to relive her “yes,” her total openness to receiving the Son of God in her life, which was transformed from that moment. Through the Holy Spirit, the Father and the Son come to reside in us: we live in God and of God. We have to let ourselves be flooded by the Holy Spirit’s light, because He introduces us to the Truth of God, who is the only Lord of our life. In this Year of Faith, let us ask ourselves if we have concretely taken some steps to know Christ and the truth of faith more….At the same time let us also ask what steps we are taking so that faith might guide our entire existence. You cannot be a “part time” Christian–in some moments, under some circumstances, for certain decisions. You are a Christian in every moment! The truth of Christ, which the Holy Spirit teaches and gives us, involves, for always and entirely, our daily life. Let us call upon Him more often. Let me make this proposition to you: let us call upon the Holy Spirit every day so that He will bring us closer to Jesus Christ. – Reprinted in Voices, Women for Faith and Family Pentecost 2013 issue