MONDAY OF THE FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER
THEME: THE HOLY SPIRIT – OUR TEACHER AND REMINDER
MONDAY OF THE FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER
REGINA CAELI CATHOLIC CHURCH,
KAREN PARISH – NAIROBI
MAY 11, 2020
FIRST READING: Acts 14:5-18
PSALM: Psalms: 115:1-2, 3-4, 15-16
GOSPEL READING: John 14:21-26
SERMON BY: FR. RAPHAEL MBENDERA
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the Gospel reading that we have today from John 14:21-26 is a continuing “farewell address” of Jesus to his disciples. In His farewell address, Jesus assures his disciples of his ongoing presence with them through the Holy Spirit. So as Jesus returns to the Father the disciples are assured of His continued presence among them through the Holy Spirit.
In today’s Gospel passage the Holy Spirit as the “Advocate” clearly exercises two roles: that of teaching and reminding. Jesus assures his bewildered followers that this Holy Spirit will teach them and help them call to mind his words in an ongoing way. The question is: What teaching do they need from the Holy Spirit? And what does the Holy Spirit need to remind them of?
• The disciples needed to learn more about God and His plan of salvation, about Jesus and about discipleship.
• They needed to be reminded of the teachings which Jesus had already offered to them but may be they might have forgotten them with time. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, these two functions of the Holy Spirit as promised by Jesus were witnessed by the disciples at Pentecost. The Holy Spirit descended on them and opened their minds, gave them knowledge, truth and new understanding about God and His plan of salvation. The Holy Spirit reminded them about the teachings of Jesus and also their way of life as disciples of Jesus. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, these two functions of the Holy Spirit as promised by Jesus were not reserved only to the immediate disciples of Jesus at Pentecost.
They reach far beyond the day of Pentecost. The promise should be regarded as the common property of all believers, in every age of the world. Our Lord knows the ignorance and forgetfulness of our nature in spiritual things. He graciously declares that when He leaves the world, His people shall have a teacher and Reminder. We received the Holy Spirit as we were being baptized and confirmed. Therefore, the word of God today invites us to reflect on two things: 1. Whether we need more knowledge about God and our life as Christians. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the Holy Spirit is our teacher in matters to do with spiritual life.
The question we need to ask ourselves is whether or not we want to embrace the fullness of the grace that God has for us. Do we want to learn more about God? About discipleship? About Christian life? Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, there is great danger that, after a few years of walking in the ways of Jesus, we may begin to think that we know all that we need to know and so become less and less teachable. How much do we know about God? We ask ourselves today. Are we willing to know more about God? Are we willing to know more about Jesus? Do we have the Bible on our shelves?
Do we really read the Bible? Do I have time for spiritual reading? This cannot be done unless we are teachable. We need to be humble and always willing to learn about the new way of life as disciples of Jesus. It takes a lot of humility to remain teachable throughout our lives. The world will always try to hold us back. The pleasures of life will become temptations that stunt our spiritual growth. Our own imperfect desires will have the same effect. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to have a fuller reign in our lives so that He can always challenge us to lift our expectations and to strive to grow more in holiness and likeness of Christ.
2. Whether we need to be reminded of the Teaching of Jesus. Jesus tells the Apostles that he will send the Holy Spirit after He leaves, who would always remind them of all that He told them.
• The Holy Spirit reminds us that love is at the centre of Christian life.
• The Spirit reminds us that we are full of potential, meant to be instruments of the healing love of God.
• The Holy Spirit reminds us that we are agents of salvation. The message of salvation belongs to everyone. It cannot be hoarded as our private property. Just as the Father’s message came through Jesus, so the message we have received must flow through us to inspire new life in others.
• The Holy Spirit reminds us that We are instruments of hope. Let us reflect on our commitment to our Christian way of life. Don’t we think we need to be reminded?