This Gospel for this Sunday picks up where we left off last Sunday in the long conversation that Jesus has with his disciples at the Last Supper before he dies and rises to eternal life. Jesus reassures them that he will not leave them orphaned but will send the Holy Spirit to live in them so that they can make Jesus known to the world. Through them, the world can see Jesus, and the world can then receive the Spirit.
Throughout this conversation, Jesus slips back and forth between present and future:
“I will ask...” (future)
“I will not leave...” (future)
“I am coming...” (present)
“I live...” (present)
“I am...” (present)
“I will love...” (future)
It seems like, as the time for his death approaches, Jesus moves in time in a more fluid way.
Particularly interesting are verses 19 and 20:
“In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.”
"On that day," Jesus says. Which day? When is this day?
"In a little while the world will no longer see me..." When? After Jesus dies and rises to new life? We know that the disciples see Jesus alive after the Resurrection, but not everyone sees him. So, perhaps, Jesus refers to the Day of the Resurrection. On the day that Jesus appears to his disciples after his Resurrection, they will know...
But do they know on that day? When we read the accounts of the Resurrection, do the women know that Jesus is in them? Jesus does not seem to be in them on the day of the Resurrection...
Perhaps, then, Jesus speaks of a different day. Perhaps he speaks of the Day of Pentecost, when the disciples and Mary receive the Holy Spirit as tongues of fire and begin to speak in other languages. On that day, they know the Spirit of Jesus truly in them.
Jesus says, "because I live, you also will live..." They will live because Jesus lives. When he says this at the Last Supper, the disciples are already living. Perhaps, then, Jesus speaks about a different kind of life. Perhaps he speaks of his Risen Life. Jesus rises to new life, filled with the Risen Life of God, so the disciples will also get to share in the Risen life. Perhaps, then, Jesus speaks of the Day of the Disciples' Own Death and Resurrection.
By our Baptism, we also share in the Risen life of Jesus. We will live, because Jesus lives. So, maybe Jesus speaks of the Day of Our Baptism. Or, it could be the Day that We Die and Rise to New Life with him. On that day, we shall know that Jesus is in the Father, and we in him, and he in us.
But do we not know this already? Do we not know that Jesus is in God? Do we not know that we are in Jesus and Jesus is in us? He tells us the Parable of the True Vine saying he is the vine and we are the branches. A vine is made up entirely of its branches. Cut away the branches, and there is no vine. Christ has no body here, but ours. We are in Jesus.
The sap of the Vine, that Risen life of Jesus, that Spirit of truth that the world cannot receive, flows throughout each one of us. The branches of the vine connect to Jesus and to each other because of that Spirit of truth in us. Jesus is in us.
If we know this already, does Jesus speak about Today?
So which day is it? The day of the Resurrection, the day of Pentecost, the day when the disciples rise to new life, the day of our baptism, the day we rise to new life, or today?
Or does Jesus means all of these?
Perhaps it is as if each moment in time is written on tracing paper, and laid on top of each other, so that we can see all the moments at the same time—each moment somehow alike, but each different in its own way. Perhaps time blends. Is this how God sees time? What can we learn from this?
At the Easter Vigil, just before the Paschal candle is lit for the first time, the priest says this prayer:
yesterday and today,
the Beginning and the End,
and the Omega.
All time belongs to him
and all the ages.
To him be glory and power
through every age and for ever.
On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.”
And when, when shall all Creation know this? When will all know God in all?
So, those moments when we know—
when we know we are in Jesus,
when we know Jesus is in us,
and when we know Jesus is in God the Father—
perhaps time blends again.
Perhaps we get a glimpse of that Day.