Monday, May 7, 2012

Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter (Acts 14:5-18; John 14:21-26) The Decalogue, of course, refers to the Ten Commandments. But "Decalogue" does not mean "ten commandments" but "ten words." It is as if each commandment is to be considered a separate word of God. With this understanding Jesus' answer to Judas' question about why he does not reveal himself to the world makes more sense. "The world" in John's gospel is the realm of darkness with Satan as its "prince." The world, as Jesus says in today's passage, does not keep his words (really the Father's words) which may be summarized by the commandment to love as he loves. Jesus then does not bother with the world because it refuses to listen to him. It would be as fruitless as trying to teach etiquette in the midst of a food fight. Our evaluation of the world may not be quite as negative as the evangelist John's. In teaching the uncommitted, be they large or small, we may see vestiges of the Holy Spirit. Yet we should not become too optimistic. We may feel the pain of martyrs before we see the word of God taking hold.