Sixth Sunday of Easter, year A

The Spirit of Christ Confirms Us

Readings: 1st: Acts 8: 5-8.14-17; Ps: 65: 2nd: 1 Pt 3:15-18; Gos: Jn 14: 15-23

This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico &  Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Diocesis of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on: canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, cancilleriadfh@gmail.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com 

Today is the sixth Sunday of Easter. As we approach the feast of Pentecost, the Church invites us to celebrate the coming of the Advocate. She calls us to celebrate the Spirit of truth who strengthens us in the proclamation of the good news. The message we bear is not false, rather, it comes from the Advocate.

Our first reading is a continuation of the frantic efforts the disciples of Christ are making in order to bear testimony to the risen Lord. Through their efforts, the Samaritans received their Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. On this day, Peter performed his episcopal function by laying hands upon the new converts.

The Samaritans needed the Holy Spirit as much as we do today because, it is the Holy Spirit that strengthens and makes one a true soldier of Christ (CCC 1303-4). He helps us to bear witness to the truth without fear: “You have not received the Spirit of timidity, but the Spirit of sonship.

The Spirit bears witness that we are God’s Children” (Rom 8:15-16). It is this same Spirit that resurrected Christ, that gives life to our mortal body (Rom 8: 11). As the principal agent of evangelization, He confirms the truth we preach.

As we are a couple of weeks away from Pentecost, in today’s gospel, Jesus promises us the Holy Spirit, the Advocate. However, He gives a condition for receiving the Advocate: “If you love me you will keep my commandments.” When we do this, he adds: “I shall ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever, that spirit of truth…I will not leave you orphans.”

What is this commandment that we must keep in order to receive the Spirit of truth? It is: “Go into the whole world and preach the good news to all creation (Mk 16: 15). It is also, a command to love both God, and our neighbor (Luke 10, 25-27).

When we do this, we are certainly preaching the good news of truth. The advocate will come to strengthens us in the way of truth. He will also come to confirm that in deeded, we are sons of God. So, let us pray: Come, O Holy Spirit, and renew the face of the earth. Alleluia, Alleluia!

Peace be with you all!

Maranatha!

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