EASTER SUNDAY 6 A HOMILY
THEME: THE PROMISE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
OBJECTIVE: THAT WE MAY ASK FOR MORE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Two weeks from today, we shall celebrate Pentecost, marking the official coming of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Jesus. In today’s gospel text, taken from his farewell speech, Jesus promises: “The Father will give you another Advocate (a powerful/influential helper) to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, … to remain with you, and will be in you.” (Jn 14:16-17). Why does he promise us the Holy Spirit?
It is because the Holy Spirit has a huge role in Christian life: 1) As an indwelling God, the Holy Spirit makes us His Living Temples (I Cor 3:16). 2) As a strengthening God, He strengthens us in our fight against temptations and in our mission of bearing witness to Christ by transparent Christian lives.
3) As a sanctifying God, He makes us holy through the Sacraments: a) He makes us children of God and heirs of heaven through Baptism. b) He makes us warriors and defenders of the Faith, through Confirmation.
c) He enables us to be reconciled to God by pardoning our sins through Reconciliation. d) He gives us spiritual nourishment via the Holy Eucharist by converting bread and wine into Jesus’ Body and Blood.
4) As a teaching and guiding God, He clarifies and constantly reminds us of Christ’s teachings. 5) As a listening and talking God, He listens to our prayers and enables us to pray, and He speaks to us mainly through the Bible. 6) As a provider, He enriches us with His gifts, fruits and charisms.
The H. Spirit is the Third Person of the H Trinity, proceeding from the Father and the Son, hence co-substantial with the Father and the Son. He is a Co-creator, inspirer and animator. He comes unceasingly into the world and awakens faith, and enables communication with God. He is Master and Source of prayer and holiness. He reveals God and restores divine likeness.
As a pillar of fire, he guided the Israelites to the promised land. Judges and great prophets like Moses, Jeremiah, Isaiah, and John the Baptist were successful, because they were inspired by the H. Spirit. He enabled Mary to conceive the Son of God (Lk 1:35).
He directed Jesus into the desert to fast for forty days and nights. (Lk 4:1). “The Spirit of God was upon him and anointed him to preach the Good News to the poor, to release captives of Satan, and proclaim peace and forgiveness…” (Lk 4:18 & 19).
The H. Spirit encouraged and reinvigorated the Apostles to preach boldly. (Acts 2). On the day of Pentecost these mere fishermen convinced and converted 3.000 people, because they were filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:41).
The Holy Spirit continues to direct and support the Church. Many of us here were baptized and confirmed in the H. Spirit. He gave us the gifts of knowledge, counsel, reverence of God, piety/religiosity, fortitude/courage, understanding and Wisdom. The Holy Spirit sanctifies and creates ministers in the Church. All in all the H. Spirit enables sacraments to take place.
The effects of the H. Spirit are holiness, love/charity, unity, peace, joy, patience, calmness, gentleness, zeal, enthusiasm, energy, modesty, generosity, faithfulness, mercy, cheerfulness, forgiveness, self-control, chastity, and prayerfulness (cf. Gal 5:22-23). If I do not have them, it means that I am not yet imbued with the H. Spirit.
We need to be possessed by the H. Spirit. Let us pray everyday to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus said: “How much more will the Father give the H. Spirit to those who ask him?”(Lk 11:13).
May the Holy Spirit make us vigorous, very active, helpful, cheerful, prayerful, wise and courageous. May he increase wisdom in us as he did with Solomon, so that we may manage well our families and businesses. May we always seek his guidance before taking any major decision. May He inspire scientists to discover the cure for the Corona virus.
May the Holy Eucharist prepare us for the action of the Holy Spirit.