Fr Thomas’ Homily for the 6th Sunday of Easter

Holy Spirit, Peace of Christ

A parish, as the local Church, can do with good consultors.  If the parish priest is to be absent for a prolonged time, the importance of the consultors increases.  When there are issues to be addressed, wanting to do the right thing, the parishioners would be wondering how best they can understand the mind of their parish priest who has gone away. The early Church of John had a similar but a much more profound scenario. The Lord was not physically with them to guide the infant Church through its teething problems.  There were heresies and dissents.   Keeping the unity of the Church was an important task.  In such a situation, the disciples through their ongoing fellowship gatherings and prayer, discerned the mind of Jesus.  To their great comfort, they knew that the Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, was with them to guide them through.  Therefore, they relied on the promptings of the Holy Spirit, confidently deliberated on faith matters.

Through the Synodality of the bishops, Pope Francis is discerning the mind of the risen Christ on various faith questions raised by the modern generation.  Bishops, as successors of the Apostles, have the Holy Spirit working through them when gathered in the name of Christ to deliberate on faith and moral matters.  Pope Francis wants the whole Church, not just the bishops, to be part of this divine discernment.  Hence, Australian Bishops have commenced the Plenary Council.  After much consultation with the parishes and other groups, the first Plenary Council met last year.  The next meeting is to be hosted by Sydney in July this year.  We have been praying for God’s blessing on the Plenary Council.  Let us continue to do so.

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is to be experienced in the basic units of the Church, the Domestic Church, as well.  Christian families gathering together in the name of the Risen Christ, also have the benefit of the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Therefore, the families should get together to pray and invoke the Holy Spirit to enlighten the members of their families in Christian living.  Wherever possible, it is commendable to have the extended families gathering together periodically, perhaps weekly, to read the Bible and pray together.  It could be done in conjunction with the family dinners.  There is a limit to what your employer, your doctor, and your teacher could do to help you live your life to the fullest.  Whilst they all are helpful and needed, they need not be the best of guides in the fundamental aspects of life and faith.  A holistic approach to life would include life on earth as well as hereafter.  Therefore, subject your life to the Holy Spirit who can renew your life and help you live to fullest without any regret.  If you are prepared to accept the Holy Spirit as your advocate, you will also be of great benefit to the confused members of your family.  So don’t let your hearts be troubled or afraid.  The Holy Spirit, the Advocate, will teach you everything about Jesus’ mind for you.  Most of all, through the Holy Spirit, Christ will gift you with his peace.