Message from the chaplain: 20 March 2020

Claudia Coustas

Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.

“I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe.

- John 14:23-29 (NRSV)

From Chapter 14 through to the end of Chapter 16 of John’s Gospel, Jesus devotes much time to preparing his disciples for his death and resurrection. This is the loving act of one who loves his disciples deeply: trying to empower them to deal with the difficult times that are to come, and to alleviate their anxiety and uncertainty.

During this time of Lent, we walk with Christ, numbered amongst his disciples, as he journeys to the cross. At this time in our school, our country and in the world, Lent feels all the more real: I think we can empathise with how the disciples must have felt, and how in need of Christ’s words they too must have been.

We do well to repeat Christ’s words to ourselves, letting them sink into our being, and reminding ourselves that always, there is the resurrection: there is hope, in the Lord. Even though we may feel scattered as the St Mary’s community, unable to meet together on campus, it is about us too that Christ prays to his Father:

“I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me”. (John 17:20-21).

Revd Claudia Coustas

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