Easter Week 6: Tuesday

“But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you.e But if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 16:7)

Saint Cyril of Alexandria reflects on this verse from today’s Gospel, writes:

“After Christ had completed his mission on earth, it still remained necessary that we should become partakers and sharers of the divine nature of the Word. We had to give up our own life and be so transformed that we would begin to live an entirely new kind of life that would be pleasing to God. However, this was something we could do only by sharing in the Holy Spirit. And the most fitting and appropriate time for the mission and descent of the Holy Spirit to us was the occasion of our Savior’s departure to heaven. As long as Christ was with them in the flesh, the believers would have thought that they possessed all the blessings he had to offer. But when the time came for him to ascend to his Father in heaven, it was necessary for him to be united through his Spirit to those who worshiped him and to dwell in our hearts through faith. Only by his presence within us in this way could he give us the confidence to cry out, “Abba, Father,” and enable us to grow in holiness and, through our possession of the all-powerful Spirit, strengthen us to become invincible against the traps of the devil and the assaults of our fellow human beings.

 You see that the Spirit changes those in whom he comes to dwell and alters the whole pattern of their lives. With the Spirit within them it is quite natural for people who had been absorbed by the things of this world to become entirely other-worldly in their outlook and for cowards to become people of great courage. There is no question that this is what happened to the disciples. The strength they received from the Spirit enabled them to hold firmly to the love of Christ, facing the violence of the persecutors without fear. What our Savior said, then, was very true, that is, that it was to their advantage that he return to heaven. For that return was the occasion for the descent of the Spirit.” (Commentary on the Gospel of John, 10)

Easter Collect
Grant, almighty and merciful God,
that we may in truth receive a share
in the Resurrection of Christ your Son.
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Lord is risen! Alleluia!
He is risen, indeed! Alleluia!