THE ADVOCATE WILL TEACH YOU EVERYTHING AND REMIND YOU OF EVERYTHING I TOLD YOU
As we approach Pentecost Sunday
(in two weeks
), the Church seeks to direct our attention more toward the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus promised he would send to be with us always.
Our Gospel reading (John 14:15-21)
is a continuation of Jesus' Last Supper Farewell Sermon that we began last Sunday. Here, Jesus promised his disciples he would send another Advocate (Jesus was the first Advocate) who will teach and guide them. This is a sermon of love between friends who truly love each other.
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."
Our First Reading (Acts 8:5-8, 14-17)
is an account of Phillip's success in bringing the word of God to Samaria. This passage is the first evidence of the rite of Confirmation (laying of hands to receive the Holy Spirit) as a separate event from Baptism.
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.
In our Epistle reading (1 Peter 3:15-18)
, St. Peter exhorts his readers to be always ready to defend their faith - with gentleness and reverence. A good lesson for us today.
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.
We are reminded today that the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, is still with us and active in our lives and our world. The signs of the Spirit are all around us if we but look. In the words of George Harrison, "Hear Me Lord
At both ends of the road
To the left and the right
Above and below us
Out and in, there's no place that you're not in
Oh, won't you hear me lord
- Click Here to read and reflect on the readings for Sunday, May 21, 2017