This Fr. Anthony’s homily from last Sunday, the Sixth Sunday of Easter.
Holy Spirit is our Advocate and Guide.
There is a saying, “We need Jesus Christ for our eternal life and the Holy Spirit for our internal life.”
The focus of today’s readings is on Apostolic preaching of salvation and the promise of the Holy Spirit by Jesus. We shall reflect on the Holy Spirit and the continuation of the work of salvation in our daily lives. In the first reading, we listen to how the Holy Spirit helped Philip, the Deacon, of his preaching for the conversion of the Samaritans, who received the anointing of the Holy Spirit through the imposition of hands by the apostles’ Peter and John. In the second reading, St. Peter speaks of the opposition and persecution which was faced by those who believe in the presence of the Holy Spirit.
In the Gospel, Jesus says, “I shall ask the Father and He shall give you another Advocate.” The context of these works is that the disciples were disappointed and troubled because Jesus was leaving them and thus comes the promise of sending His Holy Spirit. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus indwells in our hearts every day, and every time. We are experiencing the Power and Presence of the Holy Spirit through the reception of the Holy Eucharist and prayer life. The word Paraclete refers to one who defends or pleads the cause of someone at trial. Therefore, every time we face difficulties, sicknesses, problems, and trials, the Holy Spirit assists us and defends us from harm and guides us along the right way.
Let us be open to the Holy Spirit, our Paraclete to indwell in us throughout our life to experience His power and presence of Holiness, and wholeness. Many times we ignore the power and guidance that is available by the Holy Spirit. We all commit sins that take away the presence of God. “But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one” (1 John 2:1). It’s because we are all imperfect. St. Paul expressed this predicament thus, “For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do” (Rom 7:19). Let us pray according to the Psalm 51:11, “cast me not away from your presence; take not you Holy Spirit from me.” St Peter in his first sermon said, “Repent and let each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you shall receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38). Let us also remember the Promise of Jesus in Luke 11:13, “if you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give to Holy Spirit to them that as Him?” St. Paul tell us, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Cor 3:16).
God the Holy Spirit helps us to see the truth in ourselves and to discern the right way. He gives us strength in difficult times and times of pain. Let us be assured that we are not left as orphans. His presence is in the Church, family, Scripture, Sacraments, and in the praying community.
May we pray for the gifts of the Holy Spirit
“Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful, and renew the face of the earth.”