Sixth Sunday of Easter – Year A

by Fr W. Nkomo

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First Reading Acts 8: 5-8.14-17
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 66: 1-7.16.20
Second Reading 1 Peter 3: 15-18
Gospel John 14: 15-21

Jesus Assures Us That We Will Never Be Alone If We Remain In Love With Him.

Every time someone special, someone you care about, someone who brings meaning to your life leaves, you have no choice but feel the void that their departure brings in your life. People may depart from our lives for many different reasons; death, relocation, misunderstanding, breakups and growth. We have all experienced the struggle to adjust to life without them. Today our readings tell us that it is not the same with Jesus. He assures us that our relationship with him only has a beginning but knows no end and today he introduces us to our new family: The Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit; the Spirit of Truth and counsellor.

In our reading of the bible we see that Jesus always has an intimate relationship with the Father and invites us to experience that same intimacy. Jesus shows us the Father as the One who gives. In fact, giving is the main characteristic of God. We now know that Jesus is the gift of the Father to us but he is not the only gift, the Holy Spirit will be added to the gifts of God to us. Today He introduces us to the Father whom He addresses his prayer to saying “I will ask the Father.” In the first reading we are given the example of the Apostle Peter and John who because of that very intimacy with the Father are able to ask the Holy Spirit for the new believers through laying on of hands. The relationship of love with the Father is nourished and maintained by prayer at night, at different times during the day, in times of need, in requests for help, in suffering, in the most distressing trials. In his call to love Jesus invites us to his world and offers us his life to imitate. Each one of us is a child of the Father, we too can pray to him wherever we find ourselves.

Jesus the Son shows us how much he cares for us by introducing us to the Father through prayer.  Jesus is the one who does not go away for ever, who does not leave us orphans, but who will come back: “I shall come back”. He will come back and, as he said, he will take us with him so that we may be where he is (Jn 14: 3). We as Peter invites us in the second reading have the obligation to make the experience of the love of Christ known to anyone who desires it. This we can do both in our behaviour and words. We will be enabled to do this by the relationship we have both with the Father and the Son who have made a dwelling in each one who believes.

The Holy Spirit. In the gospel passage the Spirit of the Lord seems to be an emerging figure that embraces everything. He unites the Father to the Son, he brings the Father and the Son into the hearts of the disciples; he creates an indissoluble union of love. He is the Consoler, the one who stays with us always, who will not leave us alone, abandoned, forgotten; he comes and blows within us the strength for our return to the Father. Only he can work all this within us; he is the finger of God’s hand who, to this day, writes on the sand of our hearts the words of a new covenant, which can never again be forgotten. He is the Spirit of truth, that is, of Jesus who revealed to us last week that he is the Truth. In him there is no deceit, no falsehood, only the certain light of the Word of the Lord. He has built his dwelling place within us; he has been invited and goes from being close to us to being within us. Let us beware of substituting his presence with other presences, other covenants of love.

Dear brothers and sisters this is our new family one that is everlasting and ever present. People may leave us, disappoint us, take our love and care for them for granted but that is nothing compared to the gift of love that we receive from our family. Jesus invites us into his own family because he is one who has come to call us to the Father who will give us the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is true and I believe that Jesus has brought all that is his into my life; the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Let us offer our prayers to God and ask him to prepare us for coming of the Spirit of Christ the Truth into our lives.