Sixth Sunday of Easter – May 17th, 2020
Last Sunday, we were reminded how the Apostles effectively responded to the demands of the time, when they chose seven other men who were ordained to serve, men now we call deacons. Initially they helped with the daily distribution of food to the poor and widows, but it wasn’t long before they were preaching the Gospel of Christ. The first martyr was one of the these seven, Saint Stephen. Another one, Philip, was the first to announce the good news of the Risen Christ in the region of Samaria, according to today’s First Reading (Acts 8:5-17). Saint Luke, the author of the Acts of the Apostle attests that, although historically, the Samaritans and the Jews were hostile to each other, the Gospel of Christ was well received because the Holy Spirit was at work.
The Pentecost, unknown 1530
In baptism, we have received the same Spirit who enabled the Apostles to preach the Gospel with great success. In today’s Gospel Reading (John 14:15-21), Jesus teaches that the Holy Spirit, the Advocate- the Spirit of truth, comes to our aid so that we may keep Jesus’ commandments. To keep the commands of Christ is to have the desire to do what Christ wants of us. As mystical body of Christ in the world, Jesus wants us to be the voice of the voiceless - the grieving, the abandoned, the marginalized, the persecuted. As Saint Theresa of Avila wrote: “Christ has no body on earth without us.” Of course, the call to love and care for our neighbors is as challenging. But as Saint Peter in today’s second Reading (1 Peter 3:15-18), testifies: “For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is the will of God, than for doing evil.” If we do not speak and act for Christ, who will? Our love for Christ is measured by what we do.
Peace be with you!