Monday, May 15, 2017

I Shall Not Leave You Orphans - May 21, 2017

The Sixth Sunday of Easter - Year A

Reading I :  ACTS 8: 5-8, 14-17

Psalm:  66

Reading II:  1 PT 3:15-18

Gospel:  JN 14:15-21

Realizing how frightened and weak His disciples will be without His tangible presence with them, the Lord promises to send His Holy Spirit to them to be their guide and comforter.  He tells the disciples that it is better for Him to go and that the Holy Spirit come
to them.  

Since the Holy Spirit is not visible, the disciples have to trust in the Lord’s word that He can send His Spirit of Love, the third person of the Trinity to be with them. The apostle Philip is certainly a good example of one who placed his whole trust in Jesus and the Holy Spirit. As a result, His missionary journeys were very fruitful, as seen in his ministry in Samaria.  

While the apostle Philip was in a city of Samaria, being filled with the Holy Spirit, he performed miracles of freeing possessed people and healing paralyzed and crippled people. The crowds listened attentively to him. When the apostles heard that the people of Samaria were accepting the Good News, they sent Peter and John who prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.

I have to admit that when I have prayed, it has been mostly to the Father or Jesus. However, when I cannot pray, I have asked the
Holy Spirit to pray through me. Of course, they are three Persons
in One God, but it is hard for us to put our minds around that. St.
Patrick used the shamrock to help us understand. When we are united with them in heaven, it will be all clear to us.

In the meantime, let us remember and appreciate fully Jesus’ promise to send the Spirit to companion us on our journey. The Spirit’s guidance and support are wonderful gifts from our loving Lord, who knows just what we need.

Spanish Translation of Reflection Above...

No los dejaré huérfanos

Al darse cuenta de lo asustados y débiles que serán sus discípulos sin su presencia tangible con ellos, el Señor promete enviar su Espíritu Santo a ellos para que sean su guía y consolador. Él le dice a los discípulos que es mejor que Él vaya y que el Espíritu Santo venga
a ellos.

Dado que el Espíritu Santo no es visible, los discípulos tienen que confiar en la palabra del Señor para que Él pueda enviar Su Espíritu de Amor, la tercera persona de la Trinidad para estar con ellos. El apóstol Felipe es sin duda un buen ejemplo de quien puso toda su confianza en Jesús y el Espíritu Santo. Como resultado, sus viajes misioneros fueron muy fructíferos, como se ve en su ministerio en Samaria.

Mientras que el apóstol Felipe estaba en una ciudad de Samaria, siendo lleno del Espíritu Santo, realizó milagros de liberar a la gente poseída y curar a la gente paralizada y lisiada. Las multitudes le escuchaban atentamente. Cuando los apóstoles oyeron que el pueblo de Samaria estaba aceptando la Buena Nueva, enviaron a Pedro ya Juan, quienes oraron por ellos para que recibieran el Espíritu Santo.

Tengo que admitir que cuando he orado, ha sido principalmente para
el Padre o Jesús. Sin embargo, cuando no puedo orar, he pedido a la 
Espíritu Santo para orar a través de mí. Por supuesto, son tres personas En un solo Dios, pero es difícil para nosotros poner nuestras mentes en torno a eso. St. Patrick usó el trébol para ayudarnos a entender. Cuando nos unamos con ellos en el cielo,
todo estará claro para nosotros.

Mientras tanto, recordemos y apreciemos plenamente la promesa de Jesús de enviar al Espíritu a acompañarnos en nuestro viaje. La guía y el apoyo del Espíritu son maravillosos regalos de nuestro amoroso Señor, que sabe exactamente lo que necesitamos.


  1. Sr. Therese MW. SBSMay 16, 2017 at 8:34 AM

    Yes! As our lives and problems seem to grow more and more complicated in this modern age, the guidance and support of the Holy Spirit definitely are essential. We need to pray for them constantly.

    The following quotations, which relate to the liturgy for the current Sunday, are from a homily delivered by Rev. John D. Mc Burney, O S A

    "The setting of today's gospel is the night before Jesus' own suffering and death. It is a continuation of the Last Supper discourse from which the Gospel for last Sunday was also taken. The reading is given to us in the Easter season as a reminder that the promises of God to his people have been fulfilled. Jesus has returned to his Father and the Holy Spirit has been sent to guide all people to truth. Jesus' farewell gift and wish for his disciples is a message of peace. "Peace I leave with you and peace I give to you." (John 14:27)"

    " As Jesus prepared to return to the Father he was at peace, knowing that he had accomplished the mission for which he was sent. He teaches us that peace comes from both being faithful and letting go. Peace is an inner reality. It is about recognizing God's presence in and around us made possible by the gift of the Holy Spirit. "Whoever loves me will keep my word and my father will love him and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him."(John 14:23)."

    "Today we are invited to experience the gift of peace which comes to us in both the Word we have heard and the Eucharist we will receive."


    Probably, we are all familiar with St. Augustine's prayer to the Holy Spirit:

    "Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be Holy.
    Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
    Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I may love but what is holy.
    Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy.
    Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. Amen"

    1. Thank you, Sr. Therese Mary for your beautiful reflection and the Prayer of St. Augustine. I was not aware of that prayer, so it is a real gift to me and probably others who read the blog.

  2. A popular comic strip, “The Family Circus,” created by Bill Keane, illustrates intimate moments in the daily life of a family (based on his own) consisting of mom, dad, and young children. Each drawing is done within a circle accentuating the sense of closeness between the characters. Over the course of decades readers delighted in the explorations of the children as they learned about and experienced life. Their whimsical responses and reflections are based on lessons learned from their parents, so sometimes we laughed and sometimes we felt the embarrassment or heartache of mom and dad, but we always were touched by the respect, truth, and love that Keane portrayed within his family circle.
    My recall of this comic strip was stimulated by Jesus’ words to the disciples, “ … you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you.” I visualized a spiritual family circle in which the Father and the Son make their home with those who belong to their family. Based on Jesus’ teaching to his followers in today’s gospel, membership in the family of God is based on love and obedience to his commands. We are instructed to love others as much as Jesus loves us. Therefore, our love for Jesus reaches its fullest expression as we love our brothers and sisters as He commanded. This level of love, caring and sharing marked the early church community and continues to be the attraction of Christianity today.
    The spiritual family circle is completed with the arrival of the Holy Spirit. Promised as “another Advocate,” He would continue to encourage, support, and contribute to the spiritual development of the disciples, as Jesus did for them, but the “Spirit of Truth,” would do so from within and be with them always.
    We are descendants of these early disciples. Through Baptism we are welcomed into the family of God, in Confirmation we are anointed with the Holy Spirit, and through the Eucharist we are nourished with the Body and Blood of Jesus, the food of Salvation. How blessed we are to be members of the Family of God and to have the gift of continual communion with God’s Spirt within us.
    Just as the Keane kids in the Family Circus, we, too, will explore challenges and opportunities, encounter temptations, struggle with difficult people, and question life’s disappointments and hurts. May our response to all these lessons be drawn from the Source of the One who dwells within us so that those who “read” our lives will be heartened by the respect, truth, and love we exhibit and desire to know more about our family circle.
    Pat C., ASBS