The Pastor’s Thoughts — May 14, 2023, The Sixth Sunday of Easter

May 10, 2023 | By Bishop Roy E. Campbell, Jr.

“I will ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate.”

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth … I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”

What did Jesus say to His Apostles? He said, “If you love me … I will not leave you orphans.” Those without parents are orphans. Jesus did not leave them orphans, yet He never claimed to be a father to His Apostles. He is their Master, their Teacher, their Friend, their Brother – not their Father. However, Jesus can say I will not leave you orphans, because He also told His Apostles, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.”

Jesus is so close to the Father and the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, that He is in the Father and in the Spirit, and They are in Him and each Other. That is why Jesus, our first Advocate with the Father, can say “If you love me … I will not leave you, orphans.” The Father, will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth.” Jesus stays with us in the Spirit of truth, in His Mystical Body, and in the Eucharist. Jesus loves us and wants to stay with us in our hearts.

That is why the Father sends the Holy Spirit to guide His Church in love and wisdom. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, every ordained Catholic priest can call on Him to change bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. This is the same Body that was crucified for us and the same Blood that was shed for us.

Jesus told Peter to “feed my sheep.” Christ was commissioning Peter, as the first Pope, to feed His sheep with both His Word and His Body and Blood, to nourish and strengthen Christ’s Church in both soul and body. Jesus said He would not leave us. He gives us the Holy Spirit and through the Spirit, He gives us Himself in the Eucharist.

Led by the Holy Spirit and nourished by the Eucharist, we can live the Gospel message, contained in the two Great Commandments that Jesus gave us, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

Saint Paul said, “Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.” Jesus is the fulfillment of the law because He is God and God is love. Love is our Hope! “Come Holy Spirit; enkindle in us the fire of Your Love!”

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