…But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father,
The readings during the Easter season are filled with stories and images on which one can meditate, preach or write many weekly bulletin articles.
The central story is found in the gospel. The tomb is empty. Jesus has risen from the dead. He appears to the women who visit the tomb; the disciples locked in the upper room and unnamed travelers leaving Jerusalem in gloom.
Jesus’ promise of an advocate (see the quote above) never fails to capture my attention. It is like an “Easter egg” a hidden message or secret feature placed in a movie for devotees to discover and/or be developed in a future movie. The advocate promised by the risen Christ just might be the ultimate Easter egg.
Of what do you think of when you hear the word "Advocate?"
Consider the U.S. Council of Bishops notes on the first letter of John:
The author affirms authentic Christian love, ethics, and faith take place only within the historical revelation and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The fullness of Christian life as fellowship with the Father must be based on true belief and result in charitable living; knowledge of God and love for one another are inseparable, and error in one area inevitably affects the other.
Let me offer two comments that helped me grasp the meaning of this quote:
1. “Based on true belief"
This is an important part of our Christian understanding of Jesus. It is the belief that Jesus was fully human as he offered his life on the cross. In doing so, he becomes our advocate with God, presenting our personal case for salvation.
2. The “result”
This is our response to the gift of salvation, which the church describes as charitable living
The call to charitable living drives my involvement and leadership in the social concerns ministry of St. Mary’s. It calls me to be an advocate for others when I am in a position to do so. I will write more about this in the upcoming weeks. Join in the conversation and work of charitable living. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the parish office to be part of our e-mail list. In the meantime, please visit the social concerns page on the St. Mary’s Website at www.stmarysnutley.org