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A Scripture Reflection for the Sixth Sunday of Easter

by Ann Marie Castleman | May 21, 2017

A Scripture Reflection for the Sixth Sunday of Easter

May 21, 2017: Acts 8:5-8, 14-17; Ps 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20; 1 Pt 3:15-18; Jn 14:15-21

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” This Lent I picked an area of my life that was causing me some angst and decided to work to improve it.  It would be a lie to tell you that I emerged from Lent resurrected a new being like Christ. That’s not true. To some extent it’s also not the point. It’s not the point because I’m human, so I’ll always have shortcomings that I need to work to improve. What I can say is that I’ve emerged from this Lent more conscious of an area of my life where I needed to make things better, to improve myself. I think to some extent, I’ve accomplished that. I’m much more aware now of my thoughts and feelings, particularly in situations where my boss and I disagree. I recognize the fact that I disagree and try to articulate why. More importantly, I try to listen better and acknowledge my boss’ point of view, because I now recognize that she’s accountable to other stakeholders and sees things from that perspective. So while we might disagree on the approach – and sometimes even the intended outcome – at the end of the day we’re part of a team, and I need to do my part to get things done and to build the case for improvement where I see gaps.

So I’d say that I have changed and become new in that aspect. And really, I think that’s what Easter means for us. At least that’s what it now means for me. I don’t have to redo myself and become a completely better person at all once (which would mean setting myself up for failure) – but I do have to try to become a better person like Christ in some aspect of my life. I think that’s what this Lent taught me – it’s about transforming those parts of myself that need conversion and doing it one part at a time so that it sticks.  But even that is really hard.

In today’s Gospel, John recalls for us that Jesus told the disciples “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” Yikes, no pressure. Jesus also said that God the Father would send an Advocate to be with them, “the Spirit of truth.” I’m choosing to take hope in those words this Easter because transforming those parts of myself that need it and making sure I’m following Christ’s commandments aren’t easy tasks. It’s easy to get frustrated or distracted and let this priority fall by the wayside, but I’m trying to truly trust in the Spirit that God sent among us. I’ve never given much thought to the Holy Spirit and what it means for my life, but this year I feel comforted – comforted because I realize that Christ is alive in me and the world in a new way through the Spirit and that this journey of transformation that I started in Lent will only be finished when God decides it’s time. Until then, I’ve got a lot of work to do, a little at a time. And thank God the Spirit is here to guide me.

The above image is from the Public Domain.

Author information Ann Marie Castleman

Ann Marie Castleman was a 2009 Catholics on Call participant. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Theology from Xavier University and a Master of Public Health from the University of Minnesota. Working to support healthcare initiatives in Managua, Nicaragua for about two years, she now lives and works in Kansas City, Missouri.

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