THEME: “THE HOLY SPIRIT”
((Readings: 1st: Acts 8:5-8.14-17; Ps: 65; 2nd: 1 Pet 3:15-18; Gos: Jn 14:15-21))
Today is the 6th Sunday of Easter, and as we approach the feast of Pentecost, our holy mother church is inviting us to start celebrating the coming of an Advocate, the spirit of truth and love, the Holy Spirit. The Gospel today is taken from Jesus´ farewell speech before the ascension. Normally in our African tradition, the last words a person says before his “departure” are very important. The disciples we downtrodden upon hearing, that again their master, their teacher, the risen Lord is going to leave them. To whom shall they Go?
Jesus promises not to live his followers as orphans but rather to send them an advocate on one condition: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” And when you do this, he adds: “I shall ask my Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever, that spirit of truth…”. The Spirit of God enables us to participate in the life of the risen Jesus Christ. The first reading demonstrates how the Holy Spirit came upon the new converts in Samaria who believed in the Gospel and were baptized by the Apostles. Peter and John placed their hands on the new converts, the sacrament of confirmation so that they too might receive the Holy Spirit.
As we prepare for the Pentecost, today we begin to reflect on the nature of the Spirit of God that we also received during our baptism and confirmation.
- HE IS OUR ADVOCATE (Paracletus)
The title Paraclete comes from the Greek word Parakletos translated as advocate, counselor, or helper. This is a term normally used in courts and refers to the one who stands beside the accused or somebody in difficulties. In the time of Jesus, if one was accused of a crime, and it happened that a well-to-do person (Paraclete) would come forward and stand beside the accused even without saying a word; the persecution would stop immediately and the case was over. An advocate is someone called in to help in times of trouble or need.
Paraclete means that the spirit would be the protector of the disciples in times of difficulty. The Holy Spirit is always near us and therefore we need not get worried about anything. The Apostles were not threatened nor discouraged by persecutions and difficulties they encountered because the paraclete/Advocate stood with them. No doors could rock them in prison nor could any form of torture stop their mission. No form of difficulty or threat can defeat us when we have the Paraclete.
- HE IS SPIRIT OF TRUTH (Spiritus Veritatis)
Another worry for the disciples was how to remember all the things Jesus taught them. “When the spirit of truth comes, he will guide you in all the truth, he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare, disclose and reveal to you about the future.” (Jn 16:13) The word of God that the Apostles have written down for us and that is being proclaimed right now is true because it has been inspired by the Holy Spirit, the spirit of truth. The Holy Spirit prevents the transmission of error in the Gospel and it reveals to us the hidden mysteries of God for our salvation. Christians have to be very very careful with the false teachings and doctrines from many false prophets of the 21st century who have not been appointed or inspired by the spirit of truth. The spirit of truth will never mislead the followers of Jesus.
- HE IS A BOND OF LOVE
The Holy Spirit is actually the bond of love between God the Father and God the Son. By sending us the Holy Spirit, Jesus enables us to participate in the love we share with his Father. The presence of the Holy Spirit in us makes it easier for us to love God and therefore to fulfill his commandments. “If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love” (Jn 15:9-11). The ability to love God is tested with obedience to God. The spirit of God gives us the power to love, to be generous, and to serve others. The Apostle Paul, in Eph 4:3-6, calls the spirit as a bond that maintains unity in love among believers and between them and God. Let us pray that God will pour his spirit into us to perfect us in the commandment of love for God and neighbor.
In brief dear friend, during baptism and confirmation, we received the Holy Spirit. He is our advocate in times of difficulties, therefore we should worry not. He the spirit of truth, who teaches us the Divine word and reveals the hidden mysteries to us. He has inspired the Divine teachings with nothing but the truth. He is finally, the bond of love between God the Father and God the Son. This bond of love has been extended to believers through baptism and confirmation. May almighty God renew his spirit in us. Amen
Prayer: Come, O Holy Spirit, and renew the face of the earth, alleluia.
HAPPY EASTER!!! ((Contact our vocation office on +255629269140 or +254792299140))
“May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the word and the spirit of Grace; and may the heart of Jesus live in the heart of all the people. Amen” SVD Prayer