Homily for the 6th Sunday of Easter, Year A
Acts 8:5-8, 14-17 1 Peter 3:15-18 John 14:15-21
Theme: The Power of the Holy Spirit
On this sixth Sunday of Easter, the role of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers is emphasized. Thus, the readings today seem to serve as means of preparation for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The outpouring of the Spirit is a necessary encounter in the life of all those who believe in God. In view of this, we are encouraged to embrace this wonderful invitation presented to us; especially by Jesus Himself in the gospel reading of today. In the first reading, we see Philip filled with the Holy Spirit taking the word of God beyond Jerusalem to Samaria. Because the Holy Spirit was with him great signs accompanied his preaching. People were set free from evil spirits, and many were healed. Like Philip, we are called to take the word of God to the ends of the earth through our words and deeds.
The second reading of today points out the fact that there is a prize to pay if we truly want to become friends to the Holy Spirit. This is seen in the assertion of Peter, that we must be ready and prepared for persecutions, just like Jesus did. But this challenge should not stop us from always standing for the truth; even when we must stand alone. At such moments, be strengthened by the fact that you have the Trinity on your side. Jesus has walked that path before; in the body he was put to death and in the Spirit, he was raised to life. That is why it is very important that we must transcend the flesh and operate on the level of the Spirit.
Dear friends in Christ, in the gospel reading, we see Jesus preparing his disciples for his ascension to his Father. He is assuring them that the Father will send them another counsellor, who is the Spirit of Truth and will be with them forever. This simply means that physically Jesus will no longer be with them, but the Holy Spirit that the Father will send will always be within them. However, for one to enjoy the presence of this Spirit that Jesus is talking about, then one must love Jesus and keep his commandment. This simply means that the reception of the Counsellor that the Father is sending is not automatic. We must make our personal contribution by keeping the commandments of God. This commandment we can sum up as love of God and neighbour. The life we lead can become the good news that people see and live in their daily lives. This does not undermine the power of preaching and taking the word of God to the ends of the earth. Our actions confirm the good news that we carry. Therefore, as we anticipate the Holy Spirit let us prepare by keeping the commandments and loving our neighbours as God wants us to love them. It is my prayer that each one of us will respond adequately to the call. Amen. May God grant us the grace to always keep the commandments of God. Peace be with you.!