Let us nourish the world with spiritual fruits

MAY 17, 2020 SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

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.
or:
R. Alleluia.
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.
or:
R. Alleluia.
“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.
or:
R. Alleluia.
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.
or:
R. Alleluia.
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.
or:
R. Alleluia.

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.

Alleluia JN 14:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord,
and my Father will love him and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

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.”

FOCUS:  In the Gospel today Jesus says, If you love me, you will keep my commandments. This assertion is meant not for just his contemporary disciples; it is intended for all who choose to follow Jesus. And for the first half of the sentence to be true, the second half must be fulfilled.

Loving Jesus begins, as Saint Peter would later write, by sanctify[ing] Christ as Lord in [our] hearts. Evidence that the early disciples understood what it meant to love Jesus is found in Philip’s ministry in Samaria. When Philip went to this Samaritan city, he did not just proclaim Jesus as Messiah. He expressed his faith through his witness, and all who heard him and saw the signs he was doing, believed. They believed because Philip did these works in Jesus’ name – working with the Holy Spirit and imitating Jesus, who did perfectly the will of God.

If we love Jesus, then, we will continue to be, as Jesus was, a voice for the voiceless – the grieving, the abandoned, the persecuted. We will understand that Jesus’ ministry of love did not end with his death, but continues through his body, the Church. Through baptism we enter into Christ’s prophetic, royal, and priestly ministry.

This call to love Jesus by following his commandments to love and care for our neighbors is challenging. For this reason, Jesus did not abandon us to carry out this ministry of love without support. He sent his Spirit to abidewith us.

It is comforting to know that we are not alone. With the grace of the Holy Spirit, we become witnesses to the Resurrection and nourish the world with spiritual fruits. As Saint Teresa of Ávila wrote, “Christ has no body on earth without us.” So, if we do not speak and act for Christ, who will?

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