A HOMILY FOR THE SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – CYCLE “C” – MAY 1ST, 2016 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and Goodness to you this day!
There are some things that I really like doing alone. I like driving alone. I like taking a shower alone. I like going to the dentist alone. I like reading the Bible alone. I like eating soup alone. And then there are times, when it is really NOT so good to be alone. There are just those times when you wish that someone was with you. For example, when you’re watching a scary movie, and you suddenly hear the sound of a breaking window, and maybe you can’t tell if it was in the movie, or if it really just happened in your house. You want to have someone with you to go and check it out in the middle of the night. You don’t want to be alone when you have car trouble, on a deserted road, at night, in the middle of winter, when there’s a serial killer loose. Then, there was the time that I backed a go-cart up against the wall in the rectory garage and hit a water spigot, and breaking off the value, spraying water instantly all over the garage. It would have been nice not to have been alone, because then I could have run and turned off the water, instead of standing there trying to plug it up with my hand and a rag!
God knows that there are many times when we shouldn’t be alone. He knows, and we all know, that many times, we have a real fear of being alone, especially when we are in trouble or in danger. Even the devil knows our fear of being alone, and uses that fear, to tempt us! This is why today, in preparation for next Sunday’s Feast of the Ascension, we hear Jesus’ promise to His disciples that they will never be alone. This was a very important message for Jesus to deliver. At the forefront of the minds of the Apostles and all the disciples, was their fear of how they were ever going to keep following Jesus, without Him! Even those with the greatest Faith, must have realized that everything was going to change with Jesus going back to His Father. And that’s why Jesus’ words in this Gospel today are so important. They were important two-thousand years ago, and they may be even more important to all of us today! God never deserts His people.
The first promise is that to all those who love Him AND keep His word, and notice these two things are very much connected, that the Son and the Father will always be with them. We are to live on in Jesus’ love, and we do that IF we keep the Commandments. We can’t say we follow Jesus, we can’t say we love Jesus, AND NOT keep His Commandments. Our love must be lived out. And it by doing this, by living out our Faith and love, that we God with us and are never alone!
The second and equally important part of this Gospel’s promise to us, is that the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, is coming after Jesus ascends to His Father, and that Holy Spirit will help us to persevere in our Faith and never feel alone. For with the Holy Spirit, God is always with His people and we are never alone! We know, that that Holy Spirit so empowered the Apostles and the early Church that, not even death or martyrdom could slow them down. The Holy Spirit made all the difference! The Holy Spirit took away all their fears of being alone and not being able to live the Christian life. The Holy Spirit charged them up and got them on the right path, even when their fears wanted to paralyze them, and stop them from doing God’s will.
This is the perfect message for all of us in our fears today! With the primary election coming up this week, with the state of our world today, with the economic forces and challenges at work in all of our lives, we have much to be afraid of, much to worry about! And yet still today, even in 2016, God says that we are not alone, and that He is still taking care of His people! We are reminded of God’s promises today so that we can boldly live out our Faith and be God’s holy people in the world today, no matter what!
We don’t do our Faith alone. We have God. We have the Sacraments. We have one another! There is no reason for anyone to feel alone in Catholic Christianity. Let us prepare for next week’s Feast of the Ascension by having true Faith. And let us live that Faith out by our obedience and love!
+ May God bless us, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit … AMEN !!!