SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
“Only in Christ men and women find answers to the ultimate questions that trouble them.
The project of spreading the gospel message of the resurrected Christ continued unabated despite the opposition and persecution the missionaries faced. The consistent and persistently persevering approach which the early church fathers employed yielded a massive growth and expansion in membership extending beyond the territories of the Jews to the Gentile world.
This was a development which was characterized by not only the resilience of the message bearers, but also supported by the miracles that accompanied their work. It was a clear manifestation of the Divine approval of their ministry, a testimony which mesmerized and bizarrely confounded all opposition and emboldened the missionaries.
Our readings today add extra insight into this mission of preaching the Good News of salvation by throwing more light on our identity, purpose, and how we can experience the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives as Christians. Meaning, it shows us how to succeed in this work of spreading the Kingdom of God, and that the Holy Spirit plays a vital and indispensable role. The Holy Spirit is a “conditio sine qua non” (a needful force) in the preaching of the Word of God. So open up and avail yourself of it. Just cooperate!
Hence, in the first reading, with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, Deacon Philip preached powerfully to Samaria, accompanied by signs. This lead to a massive conversion. The baptized Samaritans, through the imposition of hands by the Apostles, received the fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit.
Sisters and Brothers in Christ, to be a good Christian you need to cooperate with the Holy Spirit. Know also that the Church has the indwelling of this Divine power. It is not only actively received in the sacraments, but also makes Church authority sacred, the media through which the Divine mysteries flow.
The Apostle Peter, in the second reading, in the heat of oppositions and persecutions, bolsters the hope and the faith of the believers, urging them to continue to do the good. Life adventures can sometimes shake and scare you, tempting you to compromise your faith values. But allowing and maintaining a solid relationship with the Holy Spirit will enable you to still remain God-fearing, clear in conscience in the the midst of oppositions and suffering.
Lastly, Jesus clearly makes it known that the Holy Spirit is a gift from God the Father to those who obey His commandments of Love. He is the Paraclete and Advocate who guides our ways, instructs our hearts, illumines our minds, inspires our actions, and enables us to persevere in times of weakness and uncertainty.
The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to help us grow towards maturity and wholeness, because everyone has sins/faults that prevent them from progressing. Indeed, it is the continued presence of Christ in us through the Holy Spirit that brings meaning and purpose to all we are and all we do in His Name as Christians.
Start preparing yourself to renew the active presence of the Holy Spirit in you!
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Let the Spirit lead!
Fr. Emmanuel hails from Ghana and is passionate about the Gospel and bringing the love of Christ to all people. He speaks several languages, enjoys soccer and cooking, and loves St. Francis of Assisi.