During the Easter Season we hear from the discourses of Jesus from the gospel of John.
As ambiguous as they may seem at times, they can challenge us to ponder more deeply the mystery of all that Jesus was attempting to teach.
Today’s reading is from the Last Supper discourse. Jesus tells his disciples: “But when he comes, The Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.” “He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears” He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.”
The truth the Spirit reveals is grounded in the teachings of Jesus. We know those teachings from all the other gospels. Sometimes a particular teaching of Jesus will hit us head on. We might think, “Oh, that’s what Jesus was trying to say. I get it now.” Or “I think I’m beginning to understand it better.” At those times it is the Spirit guiding us to fuller understanding. At the same time the Spirit challenges us to live the message in a deeper way.
The beatitudes can contain such a message. Beatitudes – attitudes of being – ways of living our lives. The beatitudes sound simple enough on first reading. But when we take them seriously, they can be a force to change the way we act.
One beatitude that seems especially appropriate today is:
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.”
We need justice so badly today. We see evidence of the need for justice every time we turn on the news or see someone begging on the corner. Our Tuesday Peace and Justice Updates keep reminding us of the many justice issues in our world today. Sometimes it feels overwhelming to read about all the needs and figure out what to do. But when we read the details of these needs with an open heart, the Spirit has a way of touching us. Something will stand out as the justice issue that needs our attending this week.
May the Spirit spur us on to do the work needed to make our country and our world a more just place to live.