Homilies by Fr. Alan Phillip

6th Sunday of Easter
Recent Homilies:
ߦ   6th Sunday of Easter
ߦ   15th Sunday (A) How to be Rich Soil
ߦ   14th Sunday (A) Need a Rest?
ߦ   14th Sunday (A) Need a Rest?
ߦ   13th
ߦ   13th Sunday (A) Intelligent Life?
ߦ   12th Sunday (A) Father's Day. The Job of Protecting
ߦ   12th Sunday (A) Father's Day. The Job of Protecting
ߦ   Feast of Corpus Christi (A) You've Got A Friend
ߦ   10th Week, Wednesday (A) From Orphan to Heir
ߦ   9th Week, Saturday (A) The Power of Humility
ߦ   Tuesday, 9th Week (A) Listen up!
ߦ   End of Year School Mass - A Life of Greatness
ߦ   7th Week of Easter, Friday (A) Faith, with our Head, Heart and Will
ߦ   7th Week of Easter, Monday (A) How About a Partial Realization?
ߦ   6th Week of Easter, Thursday (A) The Meaning of "Hello"
ߦ   6th Sunday of Easter (A) Transformed Into What?
ߦ   4th Week of Easter, Tuesday (A) Peace? For Me?
ߦ   Friday, 4th Easter (A) What is "Life to the Full"?
ߦ   Monday, 4th Easter (A) One Flock. One Shepherd
ߦ   Friday, 3rd. Easter (A) Do What?
ߦ   Easter Season (A) This Little Light Of Mine...
ߦ   Easter Season (A) What Happened Next?
ߦ   Easter Friday (A) Why were the Apostles fearful?
ߦ   Easter Tuesday (A) What If...?
ߦ   Good Friday (A) Why Is this day called "Good?"
ߦ   Palm Sunday (A) What's Next?
ߦ   5th Sunday of Lent (A) Three Steps To Life
ߦ   Feast of the Annunciation, All About Game Changers
ߦ   4th Sunday of Lent (A) Oh, Say, Can You See?
ߦ   3rd Sunday of Lent (A) What Are You Thirsting For?
ߦ   2nd Sunday of Lent (A) Letting Go and Letting God
ߦ   1st Sunday of Lent (A) How do the children of God respond?
ߦ   Ash Wednesday, 2020 (A) A New Look at Fasting and Almsgiving
ߦ   7th Sunday (A) I Want To Be On That List
ߦ   6th Sunday (A) God's Valentine
ߦ   Fifth Sunday (A) You Light Up My Life
ߦ   Feast of the Presentation. "Father, into your hands..."
ߦ   3rd Sunday (A) We Are Wonderfully Made
ߦ   2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (A) The Power of Both Suffering and Fun
ߦ   Baptism of the Lord (A) Bold, Committed and Loving
ߦ   Feast of the Epiphany (A) Three New Year's Resolutions
ߦ   Feast of the Holy Family (A) Three Building Blocks to a Great Family Life
ߦ   Christmas 2019 (A) God's Gifts of Bronze, Silver and Gold
ߦ   4th Sunday of Advent (A) The Power of "Yes"
ߦ   3rd Sunday of Advent (A) The Blind See. The Deaf Hear.
ߦ   2nd Sunday of Advent (A) Five Steps to Peace

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     Today's gospel got me thinking about a "last will and testament."  Have you given much thought to what you would like to leave behind when you die? 


      Very likely you hope to have some monetary wealth to pass out among your loved ones to ease their financial burdens.


     Maybe you are thinking about some special mementos you could give away or some favorite photos to pass out so people would not forget you. 


     Perhaps you are thinking of some words of wisdom you would like to impart on your deathbed, or some final words of love and affection you will want to share.


     In today's gospel Jesus was talking about what he would leave behind.  After his death and resurrection, he would ascend back to his Father.  He was not leaving any money behind, or photos or mementos.  Instead what he was leaving his followers was a lot of teachings, and his example for sure.  But there was more.  On that first Holy Thursday evening, when these words in John's gospel were spoken, Jesus said he would not leave us orphans. (cf. John 14:18)


     He would give us two gifts.  First, the gift of the Eucharist, his body and blood as our food, his special presence to us.  And then he promised his followers, including us, that he would send a Paraclete, an advocate, the Holy Spirit who would

 coach us,

    comfort us,

       enlighten us,

           speak in our behalf,

                stand by us,

                   remind us,

                      give us courage and strength,

                         and love us.


     At this time of year, second graders usually receive their First Communion.  They experience Jesus' love for them and Jesus' desire to be with them.  Also around this time, junior high and high school students experience the Sacrament of Confirmation,

receiving the Holy Spirit as they complete their initiation into the Christian community.  This is a sacred time, a holy time in our parishes, as the promises of Jesus are fulfilled in our midst.


     In our first reading today it states that Peter and John imposed hands upon the new Christian converts in Samaria and they received the Holy Spirit.  Young people will have hands imposed upon them by a Bishop when they are confirmed.


     How often do we have hands imposed upon us?  Actually, every Sunday.   Bread and wine are brought forward during the preparation of the gifts.  The bread and wine represent each one here.  The priest imposes his hands upon the bread and wine and therefore upon all present, asking God the Father to send the Holy Spirit upon these gifts and change them.  Change the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ.  Change all of us in whatever way we need to become more fully like Christ.


     Change can be uncomfortable.  We become accustomed to certain ways of thinking, speaking and acting. 


     The Mass challenges us to examine our thinking, and see if our minds are according to the mind of Christ.


     The Mass challenges us to examine our speaking and see if our words are the words that Christ would speak.

     The Mass challenges us to examine our actions and see if they are in accord with the way Jesus acted while here on earth.


     May the Holy Spirit come upon us and change us more fully into the body of Christ here today.


     Are we fearful?  May the Spirit come upon us and change us into a people of courage.


     Are we hesitant?  May the Spirit come upon us and change us into people totally committed.


     Are there lies?  May the Spirit come upon us and change us into people who always speak truth.


     Is there unforgiveness?  May the Spirit come upon us and change us into an understanding and forgiving people.


     Is there stagnation?  May the Spirit change us into a people fully alive, always learning, growing and becoming all we                                     were created to be.


     Jesus did not leave us orphans.  Orphans have no home.

Jesus tells us that our home is in the heart of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Let us say yes, "Amen," and enter. 


     The Lord is with us.

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