“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows him.”

This verse from today’s Gospel begs a question: “Why do we love God?”

So, I leave you with this legend for your prayer time this week.  An old man saw an angel carrying a torch in one hand and a pale of water in the other.  He asked the angel, “What are you going to do?”  He replied, “With the one, I will burn down the mansions of heaven.  With the other, I will put out the fires of hell.  Then we will see who truly loves God.”

What does the legend mean?  

First: If people love God because they think they will receive a heavenly mansion, but the mansion is destroyed, will their love for God be destroyed too?  

Second: If people love God because they are afraid of the fires of hell, but the fires of hell are extinguished, will their love for God be extinguished too?

What does it mean to us when we hear, “If you love me and keep my commandments…?”  Is it because of the promise of a mansion?  Is it because of the fires of hell?  

Why does the Gospel beg the question: “Why do we love God?  Because if we don’t know the answer to that question, how could we expect to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit 

The Holy Spirit is the uncreated Immaculate Conception in that the Third Person of the Trinity is the divine manifestation of the love of the Father for the Son and the love of the Son for the Father.  Our hearts must be a home of pure love to receive the pure love of the uncreated Immaculate Conception.  That’s the challenge in today’s Gospel!