John 14: 21-26
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.
25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
Chapter 14 of John’s Gospel gives us a beautiful example of the ways in which the disciples learnt from Jesus. There is clear, honest and responsive asking of questions on matters the disciples are confused about, which Jesus readily answers, guiding them as a friend and teacher toward truth and faith. The relationship between Jesus and the disciples is very beautiful, and stands as a guide to how we should understand our own relationship with Jesus. He is our Lord, he is our teacher. He is also our friend.
God revealed himself to man, and promised to live among the chosen people, at many times through the Old Testament. In these Bible verses, Jesus suggests a new relationship between Christian people and God. If we love and follow Jesus, if we keep to his teachings, which are the word of God, then Jesus and his Father will love us in return; they reveal themselves to us and make a home with us and in us.
There will be, then, an indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the Christian soul, which is renewed by the act of grace. To love, then, is to know the truth of God. Through love and obedience, we find God within us. We make ourselves a temple to the Lord.
The disciples’ understanding is not yet fully clear. Jesus promises them that, with the coming of the Holy Spirit, they will recall Jesus’ words and then they will understand all things. This gift of the Holy Spirit continues to be our guide, entrusted to the Church at Pentecost and preserved to this day.
‘You were with me, but I was not with you. The beautiful things of this world kept me far from you and yet, if they had not been in you, they would have had no being at all. You called me; you cried aloud to me; you broke my barrier of deafness; you shone upon me; your radiance enveloped me; you cured my blindness.’ St Augustine, Confessions