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6th Sunday of Easter

May 25th, 2014

 

Love One Another

 



 
 
 
“Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop, but a good word maketh it glad.” Proverbs 12:25

Reading 1 acts 8:5-8, 14-17

 

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.

 

 

Responsorial Psalm ps 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20

 

R/ (1) Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.

Shout joyfully to God, all the earth,

sing praise to the glory of his name;

proclaim his glorious praise.

Say to God, “How tremendous are your deeds!”

R/ Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.

 “Let all on earth worship and sing praise to you,

sing praise to your name!”

Come and see the works of God,

his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam.

R/ Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.

He has changed the sea into dry land;

through the river they passed on foot;

therefore let us rejoice in him.

He rules by his might forever.

R/ Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.

Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare

what he has done for me.

Blessed be God who refused me not

my prayer or his kindness!

R/ Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.

 

reading 2 1 pt 3:15-18

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Gospel Jn 14:15-21

 

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.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homily/Sermon

 

 

The call to holiness echoes all around us in the readings today. In the second reading St. Peter says, sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts. In the Gospel Jesus says if you love me, you will keep my commandments. 

 

 

We are all called to holiness. But, what is holiness? Holiness in one Catholic dictionary is defined as the intrinsic goodness which is in each of us. To be like Christ as St. Peter encourages us, is to be holy like Christ. So, how do we, as ordinary people, living ordinary lives, become holy like Christ?  After all, for some that goodness, that holiness lies dormant, and never comes to fruition. Others build on that goodness and become an example for those who are around them. The road to holiness is not a smooth and easy road to travel. But, we are aided in our journey to holiness by the graces of the Holy Spirit as Jesus promised.

 

 

Be aware, we are not made holy just because we might go to Mass every day. We are not made holy, just because we spend time in prayer every day. Those gestures help us in our journey to become holy. But, it takes more. We are made holy by the lives we lead. Especially in our treatment of others. To be holy, we must treat others as we want to be treated. We must be genuinely interested in the well being of others. Being rude, inconsiderate or disinterested in others is not a sign of  holiness. Ignoring our neighbor in need, is not being holy. Being unkind is not a sign of the intrinsic goodness that is in us. In other words, “Love your neighbor as yourself” if you wish to become holy.

 

 

Without a doubt the canonized saints were holy people and are great examples for us to follow. But, they have not cornered the market on holiness. We can and should be striving for holiness as well. With the help of the Holy Spirit we can accomplish that goal. 

 

 

The canonized saints are not the only examples we can follow. There are those among us that exemplify holiness. My sister-in-law, for example, who recently died from lung cancer. She suffered for nine months with her cancer. Not once did she complain. Not once did she say why me. Instead, she endured her suffering with grace and holiness. As Jesus promised she was not alone. The Holy Spirit was with her, helping her as she quietly prepared her soul to meet God in His heavenly kingdom. But, she not only prepared herself: with genuine love for her family, relatives and friends, she prepared all of us for her death. She died as she lived, thinking of those around her. Her holiness was  visible in life and death.  She won’t be canonized, but she was a saintly person and lives with God in His Heavenly kingdom. 

 

 

No matter what our state in life we can and should live a holy life. Even those who  are  home bound, and those beautiful people in the Nursing homes, who are confined; who are in poor health. The Holy Spirit gives them too, the grace necessary to be holy. They become holy by enduring their confinement, their suffering, their inability to take care of themselves. They become holy in their loneliness, and in their despair of not being able to get out and about as they once did. They become holy by allowing others to take care of them. They become holy because of the humiliation and dehumanization they suffer because of their total dependence on others.  Strengthened by the Holy Spirit they endure their suffering as Jesus endured his suffering on the cross. They are truly examples we can follow.

 

 

And we who are fortunate not to have the disability of some  dreaded disease.  We, who are relatively healthy. We become holy by serving those who are suffering. Serving them with kindness, gentleness and with love. Even if we are in the midst of suffering, we are to treat others with gentleness and reverence. But, oh how hard it is for some to accomplish this.

 

 

A woman in her late forties, recently commented  about her parents who live in a nursing home. She said it is great that they can afford to live there, because I wouldn’t take care of them. I am their daughter. I’m the child. They are supposed to take care of me, not me take care of them. How sad. How pathetic. I wonder where  her intrinsic goodness is hiding.

 

 

Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to help us. He explained that the Holy Spirit is an advocate, sent to be with us after He is gone from our midst. We received the Holy Spirit in Baptism and again in Confirmation. Jesus tells us that we are to be strengthened by the Holy Spirit. So, we have all we need to live a holy life, if only we  keep the commandments and sanctify Christ as Lord in our hearts.

 

 

 

By the grace of God -

Deacon Glennon Politte

May 25, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

~~ Love Always ~~



Love never pushes, giving the heart time to heal
Allowing patience to lead the way
Knowing when to just be still

Love is understanding, a place you can confide
The very essence of tenderness
When you just to hide

Love is always warm, turning away the cold
Never failing to give comfort
Always there to console

Love always listens, showing that it cares
Working together always
Conquering each fear

Love compromises, love never dictates
Love will never hurry
Love always waits



Jeffrey Paul Guest

© March 2009

 

 

 

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