- Fr. John Jennings
Jesus Among Us – Living Together with Love
“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 forever...
I will not leave you orphaned;... because I live, you also will live. On
that day, you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and
I in you.” (John 14:15-21)
Here we are, for almost 9 weeks we have been isolating and physically distancing ourselves from others. In the last week we have been given some relenting from the restrictions. There are some few occasions and settings where we can break through the isolation. Why are we doing this? The simple answer is the Covid-19 virus is among us and the health authorities have called us to do so as a means of slowing or preventing its spread.
But is that the only reason for our isolation? Why have we followed the call from health authorities? Is it just our fear of the contagion? Perhaps, but there is, in fact greater reason for our willingness to isolate so strictly. We are a community and we have a sense of the common good for all. At some level, we follow the guidelines of the authorities because we know it is best for all, for the common good of the whole community.
Over these many weeks, when you walk around, there are not many people to be seen. The streets are deserted. But when you do see someone, they speak, they smile and often they generously find a way to pass two meters apart. We have come to realize that doing this will help others to avoid being infected. It is for the common good of all. We are in this together
We have seen this before – in times of flood or a fire in the neighbourhood. We get a sense of it when a community reaches out to someone who is facing a loss or a tragedy. Or when we mobilize to ease the hardships of those facing homelessness or poverty or struggle with the challenges of life. This is movement for the common good.
This is more than simple kindness. It is a revelation of the Spirit working in us and through us. It might appear to be natural and easy, but it demands commitment and attentiveness from a whole community. When it is present, we see the presence of the Spirit that John’s Gospel speaks of today. When it is present, we can recognize the wondrous relationship in to which God invites us. To love one another, to live this love in relationships with one another is to recognize the Spirit of the risen Jesus among us.
Jesus reassured his disciples that he would not leave them orphaned. Indeed, he did not, for his Spirit remains with us, only waiting to find expression in the practical love that moves and enlivens any community – family, friends, parish community, even a nation. To be open, welcoming, inclusive is to reveal the Advocate, the Spirit among us.
Reflection Question ~ In our experience of Covid-19, can we see Jesus’ Spirit acting among us?