Readings: Acts 1:1-11, Psalm 47:2-3,6-7,8-9, Ephesians 1:17-23, Mathew 28:16-20

From God the Father to God the Father, our destiny

Dear brothers in Christ, peace be with you! Today the Mother Church celebrates the solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord. In the past weeks, we heard about how the Lord Jesus was preparing the disciples for this moment and those after his ascension.

Read more: Ascension of the Lord, Year A

Let us welcome the Holy Spirit Who will live as the Paraclete, the Divine Advocate, and Counselor, in those who obey Jesus’ commandments, especially the commandment of love. 

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ as we approach the feast of Ascension and Pentecost, the Church invites us to celebrate the coming of the Advocate. She calls us to celebrate the Spirit of truth, which strengthens us in the proclamation of the good news. Today’s readings explain who the Holy Spirit is, what His roles are, and how we can experience Him in our daily lives.

Our first reading is a continuation of the frantic efforts of the disciples of Christ to bear testimony to the risen Lord. Through their efforts, the Samaritans received their Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation.  Peter performed his episcopal function on this day by laying hands upon the new converts. Since Philip baptized these new converts, why did he not confirm them? Why was it necessary for Peter and John to travel that long distance to lay hands on (or confirm) the new converts already baptized by Philip? An understanding of our Catholic Catechism is fundamental here. What Philip did by inviting Peter (the chief Shepherd of the Apostles) was in line with the Church’s teaching on Confirmation: “The ordinary minister of the Sacrament of Confirmation is the Bishop. If the need arises, He may grant the faculty to priests. However, he should confer it himself, mindful that the celebration of Confirmation has been temporarily separated from baptism. For this reason, Bishops are the successors of the apostles” (CCC 1313).

The Samaritans needed the Holy Spirit as much as we do today because it is the Holy Spirit that strengthens and makes one a true soldier of Christ (CCC1303-4). He helps us to bear witness to the truth without fear: “You have not received the Spirit of timidity, but the Spirit of sonship. The Spirit bears witness that we are God’s Children” (Rom 8, 15-16). This same Spirit resurrected Christ and gives life to our mortal body (Rom 8: 11). As the principal agent of evangelization, He confirms the truth we preach.

In the second reading, Peter encouraged us to have reverence for Christ. Also, he admonished us to treat others with respect, even those who despise the gospel we preach. Hence, he reminds us of the animating power of the Holy Spirit even in the life of Christ: “In the body, he was put to death; in the spirit, he was raised to life.” The same spirit that raised Jesus sustains us in the truth. This means that once the Spirit of God comes upon us, we become active for Christ because: “What gives life is the spirit of God (John 6, 63). St. Peter shows us that Holy Spirit makes it possible for us believers to live God-fearing lives in the midst of opposition and persecution.

In the Gospel, As we are a couple of weeks from Pentecost, Jesus promises us the Holy Spirit, the Advocate in today’s gospel. However, He gives a condition for receiving the Advocate: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” When we do this, he adds: “I shall ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever, that spirit of truth…I will not leave you, orphans.”What is this commandment that we must keep receiving the Spirit of truth? It is the commandment to love both God and our neighbor (Luke 10, 25-27). Thus, faithful believers will have the indwelling of the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit in their souls.

In conclusion, Beloved, we need to welcome the Holy Spirit in our lives, allow Him to act in us, and seek His help every day for our steady growth in spiritual life and in whatever we do. We need the Holy Spirit to conquer temptations from our habitual sins and to avoid the occasions of sins. We need the Holy Spirit to discern and recognize the presence of Jesus in all the people we meet during the day and to do them humble, loving service. We need the Holy Spirit to become agents of reconciliation and healing to others in our families, places of work, and society, by asking forgiveness from others we have offended, and graciously granting forgiveness to others who continue to hurt our feelings and ill-treat us.

Dear brothers and sisters let us thank the Lord because He never left us alone as orphans we have the advocate, the Holy Spirit. Let us continue with our pilgrimage journey to heaven with Faith, hope, and love knowing that the Spirit of Truth is with us and in us.

 Blessed Sunday to all of you.


Readings: Acts 2:14.36-41, Psalm 23:1-3,4,5-6, 1Peter 2:20-25, John 10:1-10

Vocation: Following the example of Christ

Dear friends, today we celebrate Vocations Sunday, also called good shepherd Sunday. On this day we are called upon to pray for the increase in the number of the vocation of service in the church, particularly priestly and religious vocation but also other vocation of service. Each vocation entails a journey toward holiness.

Read more: 4th Sunday of Easter, Year A

Readings: Acts 6:1-7, Psalm 33:1-2,4-5,18-19, 1Peter 2:4-9, John 14:1-12

Do not let your hearts be troubled

In the first phase of today's gospel, Jesus addresses his disciples with words of love and hope and invites them to have trust. "Do not let your hearts be troubled". These words re-echo an assurance of peace to the seemingly troubled hearts of the disciples. Jesus addressed these words to the disciples who had just recovered from the torment caused by the prophecy of his passion and are yet to face another reality of being physically separated from them.

Read more: Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year A

Readings: Acts 2:14.22-33, Psalm 16:1-2,5, 7-8, 9-10,11 1 Peter 1:17-21 Luke 24:13-35

Recognizing the risen Lord: in the word, in the Eucharist

Dear brothers and sisters, I’m sure that there are moments in our life when we feel in the state of a quagmire, of failure, and of frustration in which we feel that Christ should manifest himself to us and give us consolation and assurance that all will be well. Such stormy periods in our lives may at times smash our faith and hope into pieces.

Read more: 3rd Sunday of Easter, Year A

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