This 6th Sunday of Easter, Jesus calls us again to the Truth (reality) that He is from the Father and the Life and Love He shares with the Father, He shares with us through His Holy Spirit. This is the cause of our hope. (1 Peter 3:15-18)
If we love Christ, we will keep His commandments, and Christ will send us His Holy Spirit. This Holy Spirit remains with us, and is in us. (John 14:15-21) This is Truth. This is the reality of our faith.
In October of 2008, in his opening address to the 12th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Word of God, Pope Benedict XVI called the Church to a new realism. He taught that this Word of God is solid, it is the true reality on which one must base one’s life.
He went on to say in the same address: the Word of God is the foundation of everything, it is the true reality. And to be realistic, we must rely upon this reality. He goes on to say: We must convert to realism. Jesus is speaking in such realistic terms in the Gospel today. We call this Truth.
The love and life of God is real. Jesus not only came forth from this life and love, but as the Son of God, continually dwells in this Communion, as does His promised Holy Spirit. This is the Life He came to restore us to. As the Word of God, He is the source of our creation (life), and He is the One who re-creates us through His Paschal Mystery (life, death, resurrection).
His Holy Spirit now dwells in us, animating this redeemed and eternal life within us. This same Holy Spirit is ours through Baptism and Confirmation. This same Holy Spirit animates the Sacred Scriptures that we may discern the Word of God present in the words. Other books may have a significant impact upon us, but only Sacred Scripture is a Living Word where we encounter the Living God. It is only the Word that is capable of transforming us and empowering us to further God’s Kingdom. This is Truth. This is reality.
This I believe is the new realism Pope Benedict is challenging us to discover and to live. He wisely says that so much of what we believe as real today, is only fleeting. Quoting again His opening address to the Synod Fathers in October of 2008:
We must change our idea that matter, solid things, things we can touch, are the more solid, the more certain reality. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount the Lord speaks to us about the two possible foundations for building the house of one’s life: sand and rock. The one who builds on sand builds only on visible and tangible things, on success, on career, on money. Apparently these are the true realities. But all this one day will pass away… And thus all things, which seem to be the true realities we can count on, are only realities of a secondary order. The one who builds his life on these realities, on matter, on success, on appearances, builds upon sand. Only the Word of God is the foundation of all reality, it is as stable as the heavens and more than the heavens, it is reality.
This Easter season is calling us to this new realism, to build our lives on the solid rock of Jesus Christ and the life and love He brings. He longs to “love us and reveal Himself to us.” (John 14:21) May this Easter season continue to unfold this Mystery to us, and embrace us with its Truth and reality!