SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
(ACTS 8:5-8, 14-17 L PETER 3:15-18 JOHN 14:15-21)
JESUS MY REDEEMER PRAISED BE HIS HOLY NAME
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus,
We are entering into the sixth Sunday of Easter; the liturgy of the word invites us to receive the Holy Spirit and to be witnessing for Christ. Throughout the readings we see the theme of the Holy Spirit and how the Holy Spirit led the early Christians. The coming of the Holy Spirit is mentioned in the Old Testament by Prophet Joel; spoke about the coming of the Holy Spirit and it will fill all human beings and they began to prophecy and speak different tongues. The spirit of God is binding together and it gathers everyone and unifies the Church.
The first reading speaks about the work of the Holy Spirit and how it leads the Church in different levels. The first is to free from all kinds of infirmities and sins, the second it brings unity in the community and thirdly it brings Joy to the community. If the community has these three aspects then the community will grow rapidly and there we will find real joy, happiness and peace. The second reading too speaks about the same theme; if the Spirit God is with us then our spirit of hope, spirit of faith, spirit of gentleness, spirit of reverence and the spirit of purity; which will lead us in a good conduct in Christ and to put away our bad conduct. We will be ready to suffer for doing well, if that be the will of God, than for doing evil. We must allow the Holy Spirit to work in us so that we can be true believer of Christ and we bear good fruits which Jesus expects from us.
The Holy Spirit, the Person of the Holy Trinity who is Love personified, acts internally within each one of us. The Holy Spirit is present within our hearts and souls, animating, vivifying, and inspiring us. We can never see the Holy Spirit as separate and apart — standing alone. The Holy Spirit lives and breathes within our souls. We see the Holy Spirit in our actions and in the actions of others.
The Bible assigns several different names to the Holy Spirit, identifying Him as the Consoler, the Advocate, the Sanctifier, and the Paraclete. As the bible presents Him, the Holy Spirit protects and defends us against our Ancient Enemy. He is our Advocate, the One who stands with us particularly when we feel worthless, useless, and of no value in God’s eyes. His consolations strengthen us when we feel weak, inadequate, and powerless.
The word “Paraclete” in Greek translates into English as “to be beside one”. The Holy Spirit stands beside us; He is our Advocate, our Counselor, and our Guide. Jesus bids us to look to the gifts of the Holy Spirit to work within us – Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, Counsel, and Reverence for the Lord, Strength, and so forth. For us, He is the Empowering One given to us by the Risen Christ. The Evil One seeks to weaken us; the Holy Spirit strengthens us.
The Holy Spirit vivifies us and animates us, that is to say He enlivens us; He gives us a sharing
in God’s life. He is beside us to defend us when we are depressed. When the sacraments of the devil beset us the Holy Spirit is our Advocate, our Counsel in order that we might defend ourselves. In the Gospel, Jesus calls us to remain with him so that we can be filled with his unconditional love. This love leads us to follow God’s commandment and God lives and we will live and the love of God pours in our hearts and we may change all our attitudes and our thinking. We will be called the children of God and God is our father who lives in heaven and brings forth all the heavenly blessings upon us.
And just like love, we discern the Holy Spirit’s presence within us when we cause external things to happen – when we act and engage with the world around us. The Holy Spirit comes to us so that we in turn will stand beside others and console them with our deeds.
Love and the Holy Spirit – both cannot be known in and of themselves. Both are made present to us, made real for us. Both are realized in acts, in deeds, in things that are done. Both animate and vivify us, filling us with their special life. Both are expressions of God. God makes Himself real for us, expresses Himself, and becomes present to us in both love and in His Holy Spirit. It is the God’s promise for this week to each one of us. Let us carry the love of God within us and share this love to our neighbors as well as strangers those who around us. May the Holy Spirit lead us throughout our faith Journey and the promises of His heavenly grace always remains with us.
May God Bless you,
Fr. Vinner HGN.