OMELIE / Omelie EN

21/05/2017 - 6th Sunday of Easter A

21/05/2017 -  6th Sunday of Easter - A 

Reading 1 Acts 8,5-8.14-17 * Psalm 65 * Reading 2 First Peter 3,15-18 * Gospel John 14,15-21

Let's follow the Apostle Philip in his mission in the country of Samaria. There he proclaims "the Christ". "To proclaim" means "to announce solemnly", to bring unexpected news and a very important one, like those pieces of news regarding kings and kingdoms. Philip knows well how important is what he is announcing, so much that it could change his listeners' lives. To proclaim the Christ means to announce his death and resurrection, a piece of news that brings hope and persuades to be merciful and charitable. Jesus had already been welcomed in the city of Samaria, Sichem, when the woman - after having been at the well - had invited all the citizens to meet him in person: now they have to receive the news of his passion and exhaltation. After that announcement, after hearing the name of Jesus, many where cured and a lot of possessed people were set free. Samaritans too are full of joy for these events, and are full of joy when they hear the name of Jesus! Even if they were considered heretics by the Jews, the Apostles could see and recognise that God Himself is present and working among them, thanks to the name of Jesus truthfully announced. And there they are, Peter and John, come in order to support Philip in his mission. They are not there on their own accord, but they are obeying the other Apostles, who sent them.

We can find this obedience always as a substratum of any divine action in us. It really seems that God, in order to work His wonders, always merely needs men's obedience. When they are obedient, God Himself becomes obedient to them, listens to them, and does what they ask him. God listens to those who listens to Him, answers those who bends to His will, in particular the will expressed by those He sent. Peter and John "went down there and prayed for them to receive the Holy Spirit". This prayer to the Father is a prayer that meets His own desires. As a matter of fact, Jesus Himself made to the Father the same request: "I shall ask the Father, and he will give you another Paraclete". This promise, however, was justified by this obedience: "If you love me you will keep my commandments. I shall ask...". God listens to the prayer of the Church, because is the prayer of people who want to obey Him and want Him to be part of their lives. To receive the Holy Spirit, as a matter of fact, is like starting to breathe the same air as God the Father and God the Son, it is about starting a journey on the road where the same desires as God's thrive, it is about being carried away in the direction in which the divine Wind blows.

Who receives Holy Spirit starts then to pray in a different way: indeed we can say that the Holy Spirit is the very prayer that God the Father addresses to the Son, and at the same time the Son’s answer to the Father. In us, children of God, the Holy Spirit is still a prayer of Jesus’ that is offering Himself in order to fulfil His Father’s plans: “Here I am! I am coming to do your will”! And this is a prayer that enjoys everything the Father does: as a matter of fact, we can remember how Jesus rejoiced with joy and blessed and praised the Father when He revealed that He discloses His secrets to the little ones and to the humble.

The Apostles noticed that the Samaritans were receiving the Holy Spirit: How could they possibly notice? They also began to praise God: they were praising God for His paternity, for His way of doing things and for His doing, in particular for all the love He has shown through the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus, His Son! To praise God is a prayer of the Spirit that is in us! This is also clearly shown by the fact that who praises God find themselves enjoying a deep communion with others who praise the Father and the Son as well. And again, in those who praises God grows the desire to love Jesus and keep His commandments, those words full of wisdom and strength.

Those exhortation in the passage read from the First Letter of Peter echo and carry on these considerations. He invites us: “proclaim the Lord Christ holy in your hearts”. What does “to proclaim holy” mean? I think we can explain the meaning of this “worship” like this: with all the love you can give, love Jesus above all else: every desire, every reality right and good, every loved one; listen to Him and obey Him, make Him your only role model, rely on Him in everything you do and even when you are resting. When we will be able to accomplish this, we will also “always have answer ready for people who ask you the reason for the hope that you have”, we will know the reason for every event, for our efforts, for pain as well and for all the sufferings we go through in our life. We will be able to explain the importance of our faith, the reason for and the source of our love, we will be able to show to everybody the Risen Jesus, Light on the past, true Master and safe Support for the present and the future.

There will always be who enjoys to speak ill of who adores the Christ Crucified: we will stand them, and we will live in communion with our Lord even more. In this way, we will have strength enough, and our Love – without hating anybody – will put to shame all the enemies of the good that our Father suggests us to do with all the energy that the Holy Spirit gives to those who love Jesus.