HOMILY FOR THE SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – CYCLE A

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Sixth Sunday of Easter

Lectionary: 55

Reading 1

ACTS 8:5-8, 14-17

Philip went down to the city of Samaria

and proclaimed the Christ to them.

With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip

when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing.

For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice,

came out of many possessed people,

and many paralyzed or crippled people were cured.

There was great joy in that city.

Now when the apostles in Jerusalem

heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God,

they sent them Peter and John,

who went down and prayed for them,

that they might receive the Holy Spirit,

for it had not yet fallen upon any of them;

they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Then they laid hands on them

and they received the Holy Spirit.

Responsorial Psalm

PS 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20

R. (1) Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.

Shout joyfully to God, all the earth,

sing praise to the glory of his name;

proclaim his glorious praise.

Say to God, “How tremendous are your deeds!”

R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.

“Let all on earth worship and sing praise to you,

sing praise to your name!”

Come and see the works of God,

his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam.

R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.

He has changed the sea into dry land;

through the river they passed on foot;

therefore let us rejoice in him.

He rules by his might forever.

R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.

Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare

what he has done for me.

Blessed be God who refused me not

my prayer or his kindness!

R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.

Reading 2

1 PT 3:15-18

Beloved:

Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts.

Always be ready to give an explanation

to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope,

but do it with gentleness and reverence,

keeping your conscience clear,

so that, when you are maligned,

those who defame your good conduct in Christ

may themselves be put to shame.

For it is better to suffer for doing good,

if that be the will of God, than for doing evil.

For Christ also suffered for sins once,

the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous,

that he might lead you to God.

Put to death in the flesh,

he was brought to life in the Spirit.

Alleluia

JN 14:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord,

and my Father will love him and we will come to him.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel

JN 14:15-21

Jesus said to his disciples:

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

And I will ask the Father, 

and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always,

the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,

because it neither sees nor knows him.

But you know him, because he remains with you,

and will be in you.

I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

In a little while the world will no longer see me,

but you will see me, because I live and you will live.

On that day you will realize that I am in my Father

and you are in me and I in you.

Whoever has my commandments and observes them

is the one who loves me.

And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,

and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”

THE HOMILY

(THE COLLECT)

Grant, 

almighty God, 

that we may celebrate 

with heartfelt devotion these days of joy, which we keep 

in honor of the risen Lord, 

and that what we relive in remembrance 

we may always hold to in what we do. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you 

in the unity of the Holy Spirit, 

one God, for ever and ever.

Amen!

What does the opening prayer of this Mass, that I have just read to you, mean, when it asks: “that what we relive in remembrance we may always hold to in what we do”?

What is it that we relive in remembrance?

It is no wonder that at times we have difficulty remembering what it is that is important in our lives.

Our waking hours are filled with distractions coming at us from every direction.

We are somewhat like the disciples on the road to Emmaus.  The tragic events of the past twenty-four hours so pre-occupied their thinking that they failed to see that the passion, death and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ was the completion of everything that he had foretold them.

 It was only after he disappeared from their sight at table after reminding them of all that the

prophets had foretold the Jewish people that the Messiah would have to endure   that they remembered what he had told them during his public ministry.

They remarked to each other:  “Were not our hearts burning within us as we walked with him and heard him tell us of all that the Mesiah would have to suffer?”

The recent events of Good Friday were so traumatic for the disciples that their involuntary memory momentarily failed them.

Marcel Proust, the French novelist, who wrote the seven volume novel entitled The Remembrance of Things Past ( a La Recherche de la Temps Perdu) exploring the phenomenon of involutary memory, died in November 1922; I was born nine months later.  I am not suggesting that there was a natural connection between the two events, but I have often reflected on the gift of involuntary memory with which God blessed me .

At age 93 I have increasing difficulty in remembering names of people I KNOW when I meet them.  But memory flashbacks, such as the memory of every detail connected with my first Holy Communion come endlessly during the course of an ordinary day.

To prove to you that I am serious when I say that I frequently remember EVERYTHING about my First Holy Communion which occured in 1930 let me tell you that after the Mass all of the First Communicants went to the Parish Hall and were treated to a communion breakfast and

FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER

I ate corn flakes.

It was a wonderful treat added to having just received the Body and Blood of Christ.

What was so special about eating corn flakes?

THEY HAD JUST BEEN INVENTED

and no one had ever eaten them before.

I think that that person is blest who involuntarily remembers significant religious events in their past life, but even more to the point of todays readings in this Mass, they are twice blessed if they frequently involuntarily recall the events of the life of Our Lord Jesus Christ

On Sunday, June 4, Pentecost Sunday,we will have completed our annual Emmaus walk with Jesus Christ.  During the 90 days from the First Sunday of Lent to Pentecost Our Lord Jesus Christ has walked with us in the human ‘person’, the Church, of which he is the head.

Day after day during those 90 days he will have told us of all that he endured and suffered for our sakes.  He did this through the Liturgy of the Church.

If we are to continue to walk with him we must let our hearts ‘burn within us’ as we relive the events of these 90 days conscious of who HE is and who we are in relation to him.

He has promised that he will not leave us as orphans and so we have a companion walking with us on our journey to ‘Emmaus,’  the Holy Spirit.

Let the Holy Spirit guide you.

Remember that Our Lord said that the proof of your love for him is when you remember his commandments

AN KEEP THEM !!!

Almighty God,

Eternal Father,

as we walk along our journey to the heavenly Emmaus where Christ our Lord will reveal himself to us, 

grant that through the graces given us by the Holy Spirit we may relive what we have vicariously experienced with Jesus as we accompanied him through 90 days on his way to Golgotha and his resurrection.

Grant that we may so keep his commandments 

that our love for him is never in doubt.

This we ask through the same 

Jesus Christ, Our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the 

Holy Spirit, One God,

forever and ever.

Amen!

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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One Response to HOMILY FOR THE SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – CYCLE A

  1. Thank-you, Bishop, for this thought-provoking homily. The delightful part is that it intertwined perfectly with our own priest’s homily that we received this morning at mass.
    Thank-you, katey in Oregon

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