If you love me, you'll obey my commandments
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - May 17, 2020 - 12:00am

In today's gospel of St. John, Chapter 14, Verses 15 to 21, the Lord Jesus delivered his last will and testament during the Last Supper. In the context of today's COVID-19 crisis, we need to remember three things; obedience, a new advocate, and the promise to come back to us.

First, obedience is a condition to manifest our love. We cannot pretend to love God if we reject his commandments. In the same manner, we cannot say that we love our country, if we cannot obey its laws. All our earthly leaders have been anointed and blessed by God. Thus we need to obey our leaders, even if we did not vote for them. Saint Joseph obeyed the law by traveling from Nazareth to Jerusalem in order to register himself in obedience to the edict of the Roman Empire. The Virgin Mary obeyed the Lord by accepting the difficult task of bearing a child conceived through the Holy Spirit. And St. Joseph accepted his role of being a foster father to the Holy Child.

Second is the promise that he will give us the Holy Spirit as our new advocate. He left us physically but he remains present with us and in us through the Holy Spirit. This is also very important, especially in a world filled with much misery and pain. Humankind needs an advocate who will guide us and enlighten us as we face the many paradoxes and riddles in life. Today, in this serious health crisis we are all facing, we need strength and guidance. We cannot survive alone if we rely only on man-made means and methods. There is a need for divine intervention to help us cope with tremendous challenge of survival as individuals and as a community of believers.

Thirdly, what keeps us going is the center of our faith which is the resurrection of our Lord, the raising of the dead and the communion of saints, our Lord, in the previous readings, promised to go ahead of us and to prepare for us a dwelling place. For in his father's house, there are many places for all of us who believe. The promise that he will come back to us and be reunited with us is the greatest anchor that makes us hold on to our faith until the end. Our sins had been forgiven. He offered his own life as ransom for all our trespasses. Thus, on this sixth Sunday of Easter, we should face life with great hopes.

No matter how bad the situation we are in today, the Gospel reminds us that, if we obey and remain united with him, he will give us a new advocate, to be our defender until he comes again to fetch us for our final journey to the bosom of the Father.

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