Rev. Mr. Roger J. Landry
Vatican Radio Mass
6th Sunday of Easter, Year A
May 9, 1999
Acts 8:5-8,14-17; 1 Pt 3:15-18; Jn 14:15-21
Beginning with this Sunday’s readings, our focus starts to change from a concentration on Jesus, our Risen Savior, to the gift he and the Father have given us, the gift of the Holy Spirit. In the upcoming week, we will celebrate the Ascension of the Lord, Jesus’s return to the Father in Heaven, which he himself said was necessary and good for us, because otherwise he could not give us the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, our Consoler. Then the following week we will celebrate the Feast of the Holy Spirit, Pentecost. Hence, today, we begin a sort of two-week Advent, in which we prepare ourselves for the Celebration of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity and His essential role in our Christian Lives.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus promises that he will ask the Father to send us the Spirit of Truth to be with us always. God the Father heard that prayer. He sent the Holy Spirit during the feast of Pentecost to Mary and the Apostles gathered in the upper room. He sent him again to the disciples of Samaria, as we see in the first reading, when Peter and John imposed hands on them. He sends him to every Catholic in a special way at his confirmation, when the bishop anoints us will sacred chrism and says “be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.” And He sends him again to fill us during every Mass, when the priest prays efficaciously to God the Father: “Grant that we, who are nourished by the body and blood of the Lord, may be filled with His Holy Spirit.”
This Holy Spirit abides in us as long as we remain in the state of grace. It is he who helps us to the venerate the Lord in our hearts, as St. Peter writes in the second reading. It is he who helps us to cry out to God with joy, as we did in the responsorial psalm.
Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the Consoler. God, the Father of all consolations, has given us the Holy Spirit to console us in every trial or hardship. In this preparation for Pentecost which we begin today, we should pray to God that we might go ever more to the Holy Spirit for our consolation. Too often, we seek our consolations in worldly pleasures — money, the things of the flesh, alcohol or drugs, and various distractions — rather than from God, who sent his Son to give us eternal consolation in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will help us to change our lives if we ask him to, and give us that consolation that nothing can take away. He will also inspire us, as well, to be consolers to others, many of whom, in their physical and spiritual suffering, so desperately need that consolation that can come only from God. But often God wants to give them that consolation they need through us.
Jesus took flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin when the Holy Spirit overshadowed her. What is about to happen is perhaps an even greater miracle, when, through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus will take flesh again from what was formerly mere bread and wine. We can pray that, nourished by this Eucharist, or by the spiritual communion we make uniting ourselves to this Mass, that we be made into fitting temples of the Holy Spirit, fit to receive Jesus, and fit to venerate him in our hearts now and forever.
God bless you all!