Homily Sixth Sunday of Easter Year C The Holy Spirit will teach you

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Homily Sixth Sunday of Easter Year C

Reading 1: As the Word of God through the ministry of Paul and Barnabas spread among the Gentiles who are baptized, some of the Judaizers came from Jerusalem and began to sow doubt in the community of believers concerning the authenticity of Paul’s ministry. These Judaizers insisted that the Gentiles need to be circumcised and follow the Mosaic laws to be saved.

Not knowing who was right, the community decided to send Paul and Barnabas with others to Jerusalem to the Apostles for clarification. This is the initial awareness of the authority of the Apostles over the life and teaching of the Church.

After hearing about how God blessed the ministry of Paul and Barnabas to the Gentiles with signs and wonders, the apostolic leadership made a profound statement and decision. First of all, they said: “It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and us.” In other words, after prayer and much discussion The Holy Spirit inspired them with the answer. This fulfills what Jesus taught the Apostles at the Last Supper: “I will send you the Holy Spirit. He will teach and guide you to the truth.” We will come back to this in the Gospel.

What was the truth? That baptism not circumcision was necessary for salvation. Following the Mosaic Law was not required any longer. The only requirement was the turning away from their former pagan practices. What will happen if we followed the practice of the Apostles, namely invoking and following the guidance of the Holy Spirit in major decisions?

Reading 2: During this post Resurrection times the Church keeps before us the life that God invites us to enter into now and after death. She presents to us another vision of life in heaven. The image of the new, holy city of Jerusalem is the image of the exultant and victorious Church, the bride of Christ in all its beauty and perfection in eternity. We are that Church now and are called to be in eternity.

The Church is built upon the faithful people of the Old Testament, the prophets, the Apostles and all the baptized who have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb in baptism and the sacrament of Reconciliation.  In the center of this is the Father and Jesus, the Lamb, whose glorified life is the light of the city.

Gospel: We continue to read John’s narrative of the Last Supper in which Jesus gave a number of teachings as part of his last will and testimony. He speaks repeatedly of the centrality of love as a sign of our union with him and as a sign of our discipleship. He speaks of the need to keep his word because we love him. He teaches us the parable of the vine and the branches, reminding us that the Father loves us and as we love and keep his word, God will dwell in us and we in him.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus teaches what later the Apostles will better understand and act upon. The Father and the Son will send the Holy Spirit. As our Advocate, helper, and intercessor, the Spirit will teach us everything concerning the truth revealed by God. Then Jesus reminds them that the peace he gives them is not a greeting but the fruit of salvation which brings life.

He tells them he is going away but will come back. He is referring not only to his upcoming death and resurrection, but also to his ascension and his second coming in glory.

His final teaching in the reading deals with the mystery of his Incarnation, being both God and Man. As God, he is one with the Father. In his humanity, the Father is greater than him, because for a time he emptied himself of his divinity in order to embrace our humanity and do the will of the Father, even to the death on the cross. It is only after the Resurrection and Pentecost and the ensuing years that the Church began to unpack these mysteries and acknowledge them fulfilled.

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