Fr. George Corrigan, OFM
Fr. Austin Fleming
How’s your hope these days? Has the news the last few weeks,
the sound bytes, the tweets, the social media,
has the recent news given you a reason for hope?
The question, of course, is rhetorical!
But I’m sure that each of us has an immediate response within us.
The recent news has given some folks
more hope than they’ve had in ages
and the recent news has led other folks
to the brink of hopelessness.
Sixth Sunday of Easter. Fr Benjamin Earl preaches on the effects of the Spirit. Every Sunday at Mass we profess […]
Sixth Sunday of Easter (A) | Fr Bruno Clifton speaks of our need for friendship and points to the One […]
Fr. George Smiga
ON THE WORD
To truly appreciate the gift of the Spirit, it is perhaps helpful for us to remember what Christ has not promised us. Christ has not promised us life would be easy. He has not promised us that we would never have to face divorce or rejection or pain. He has not promised us that we would always have a job or that we would always have our health. He has not promised us that we would always be successful or that we would never make a mistake. These are all promises which perhaps we hope would have been made to us, but they are to be found nowhere in the scriptures.
What is found in the scriptures is a greater promise. Time and time again Jesus promises us the gift of his own Spirit so that he would be in our lives forever. We believe in that promise, and yet we know that we will have to listen if we can benefit from the gift of that Spirit.
Bishop Robert Barron
For this sixth Sunday of Easter, I would like to continue with the first letter of St. Peter, which is our second reading for this weekend. Peter says, “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.” In many ways, this is the master text for theologians […]
This Easter season, the Church has asked us to meditate on the Acts of the Apostles. Today Jesus tells us to wait for the coming of the Spirit, which will descend upon them and empower them in their work. It is up to Christians today to continue the work of the apostles and spread the mission of Christ.
The Scriptures for this Sunday offer some glimpse of the Holy Spirit in advance of the great feast of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit is the heavenly grace that enlivens the Church in all aspects of its mission.
As Pentecost approaches, the Church invites us to meditate upon the Holy Spirit, the person who is the love between the Father and the Son. To be in the spirit is to be gifted with what Paul called "charismata," powers enabling us to build up the church of God.
Fr. Anthony Ekpunobi, C.M.
OF THE MISSION,
Msgr. Joseph Pellegrino
ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
It is a mistake for me to compare myself with other priests. It is wrong for you to compare yourselves with other people at whatever stage of life you are in. It is a mistake for parents to compare themselves with other parents, for men to compare themselves with other men, for women to compare themselves with other women. It is a mistake for Teens and young adults to compare themselves with their companions, or classmates. It is wrong for any of us to compare ourselves with our brothers or sisters. We are individuals, not clones. It is wrong for any of us to think, as the Samaritans must have thought, that we are not as good as others. God loves each of us for whom we are, not for what we think we should be like. He loves us for whom He created us to be. We are created in the image and likeness of God; yet in the mystery of God’s creation, each of us is a unique reflection of this image and likeness. He loves us for whom we are. We are not rejects. We are not half breeds, only part Christians. We are precious, precious in the eyes of God, and precious in the eyes of all those who really love the Lord.
Fr. Vincent Hawkswell
Fr. Robert Altier
In the Gospel reading today our Lord told His disciples that if they love Him He would send another Advocate (Paraclete) to be with them. This Spirit of truth the world cannot accept because it neither knows Him nor sees Him. While we do not see Him either, Jesus says: “You know Him, because He remains with you, and will be in you.” Notice that our Lord begins with the love we have for Him, then tells us the Holy Spirit, who is the Love of God, will be in us.
We know that where one Person of the Most Holy Trinity is present, all Three are present. Jesus addresses this point in the verses that follow the Gospel passage we hear today. He tells us that if we love Him, the Father will love us, and Jesus and the Father will come to us and make their abode within us. Spiritually speaking, the place where the Lord dwells within us is in our hearts. I say spiritually speaking because Jesus does not dwell in the physical organ of our heart any more than when we tell someone we love that we give them our heart or that we love them will all our heart.
Fr. Michael Chua
ARCHDIOCESE OF KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
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Fr. Jude Langeh, CMF
The Holy Spirit can be compared to the soul in the human body as He gives life, unity and movement to the Church. In effect, He is the Church’s Heartbeat and the whole Church moves according to His movement. The Church lives and acts with the Power of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is therefore a “Helper”. In the First Reading, Philip and John are sent to Samaria to help the Samaritans who have accepted the Word of God. To be effective in this ministry they need a “Helper”. They go to help but cannot operate without the presence of “Another Helper”. Todays’ readings identify the Holy Spirit as “Another Helper.” Having accepted the Lord Jesus, Philip and John lay hands on them and they receive the Holy Spirit to help them to believe the Gospel message.
Fr. Phil Bloom
ST. MARY OF THE VALLEY
God’s role can be seen at extraordinary moments: When matter emerges from nothing, when life emerges from matter, when human consciousness emerges from life. But the truth is that God is involved at every step of the process. As Catholics we do not have to reject evolution – only the version that says everything is random and without purpose. No, we see that God under-girds the whole show and is constantly pulling it forward. We can look at the night sky or at a beautiful flower or at a newborn child and say, “How tremendous are your deeds!”
Besides under-girding creation, God under-girds our lives. As Isaiah says, “You have accomplished all that we have done.” (26:12) For sure we did it, but ultimately God gets the credit. When we read the Bible it’s like pulling back the curtain and recognizing what’s really going on.
Fr. Tommy Lane
PRAYER AND HOMILY
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments,” says Jesus to us today (John 14:15). We could say that is a very strong statement by Jesus. Does this mean that every time we sin we do not love Jesus? Although we love Jesus, every time we commit sin, we love something or someone else more than Jesus. If we love Jesus more than anything else, we will keep ourselves free from sin for Jesus. If we love Jesus, we will strive to give ourselves totally to him. When we sin, we are giving ourselves to something other than Jesus or to somebody other than Jesus. And when we love Jesus with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, we will not want to put anything, no matter how small, before Jesus. Again the words of Jesus in our Gospel are, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) Sometimes we hear people make statements like, “Jesus understands that I am human. He will forgive me.” Jesus is forgiving; we do not doubt Jesus’ mercy. But if we love Jesus more than anything we will put Jesus before whatever it is that is tempting us, and we will try to root that sin out of our lives completely.
Fr. Michael Cummins
VICAR OF PRIESTS,
For a number of weeks now I have been watching the communion reception debate play out on social media. People asserting their right to receive communion on the tongue in and out of times of pandemic and questioning the authority of the bishop to restrict that form of reception in the circumstances that we find ourselves. I try to avoid social media debates at all costs as I think they really go nowhere and change no one but, as I have watched this debate unfold, I believe that I have gained some insights into the state of our knowledge of the faith, fears and even a learning about priestly ministry.
Fr. Michael Fallon, MSC
ST. MARY’S TOWERS
DOUGLAS PARK, NSW
This is the last night of Jesus’ life. He has a mission from God his Father to reveal who God really is to the world. He does so by his love. Now he is calling us to carry on this mission. Jesus loved with the love that he received from his Father. ‘As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love’(15:9). That we might be able to love in the same way, Jesus promises to dwell with his Father and the Spirit in our hearts. He consecrates us so that we will indeed be a temple where the Blessed Trinity abides.
John speaks of this firstly as an experience of the Spirit: an experience of being drawn into the communion of love which Jesus himself experienced. John has been preparing us for the coming of the Spirit from the beginning of his Gospel. When Jesus was first introduced by John the Baptist he was introduced as the one who ‘baptises with the Holy Spirit’(1:33). Jesus told Nicodemus that he would need to be ‘born of the Spirit’ (3:8), for it is the Spirit who ‘gives life’(6:63). Jesus will pour forth this love-Spirit from his pierced heart on the cross (19:34), and after the resurrection, from the depths of his communion with God his Father, he breathes on his disciples and says: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’(20:22).
Fr. John Kavanaugh, S.J.
SCHOLAR AND AUTHOR (1941-2012)
Some Catholic parents experience the sadness of seeing their children, once they reach or pass adolescence, leave the church of their childhood. I have never found parents indifferent to this. Rather, their feelings and faith span a range from anger, through guilt and worry, to an abiding trust in God and their children as well.
Although watching one’s children drift into a churchless way of life can be a jolt, it seems to be even more unsettling to some mothers and fathers to see their child leave Catholicism for something “better.” A son or daughter undergoes a conversion experience, is “baptized in the Spirit,” or finds deep Christian fellowship somewhere else.
Bishop Frank Schuster
An essential characteristic of someone who is a follower of Jesus is someone who prays. The more we pray our way through this world, the more the Holy Spirit can work inside of us and through us to make the world a better place. St. Therese of Avila understood this. She had good advice for those who lived 500 years ago and it is good advice for us today with all the turmoil we deal with in the news or in our lives. She writes, “Let nothing disturb you. Let nothing frighten you. All things pass. God does not change. Patience achieves everything. Whoever has God lacks nothing. God alone suffices. Christ has no body now on earth but yours; no hands but yours; no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which the compassion of Christ must look out on the world. Yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good. Yours are the hands with which He is to bless His people.”