Pastor Bob delivered a beautiful homily at church today; I will try to recreate the message he shared with us.
He reflected on the past three Sundays Readings and Gospels which give the accounts of Jesus’ visits with his disciples after his resurrection and before his ascension into Heaven.
He noted that Jesus did not go into the teachings of his past three year’ ministry with his disciples, reviewing with them all the facets of the faith he spoke through his Father. It would seem he would warn them or remind them of parables addressing the continual harassment by the scribes and Pharisees who constantly badgered him.
Instead, Jesus spoke simply to the disciples of the Father, his Love , Peace and the Holy Spirit. Twice Jesus told them, “If you love me, you will ‘keep’ my words” and the Father will reward that person by making his home with them.
When we become like Christ, we automatically do the right thing.
Then he told the disciples that the Holy Spirit would dwell within them and would enable them to remember the words and incidences of Jesus and to record them for future posterity. The promised Holy Spirit would enable the apostles to discern the truth, clarify the doctrine and encourage the new believers in faith, the Gentiles.
The priest explained how in the First Reading, some were teaching that ‘unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” (Acts 15: 1-2, 22-29.) They were preaching from their previous teachings. Even Paul at one time believed that all new believers should convert to Judaism before they became Christians, relying on previous teachings. With aid of the Holy Spirit, Paul and Barnabas sent men out to maintain Jesus’ doctrinal purity.
Today is the same: we are guided by the Holy Spirit to maintain doctrinal purity by the Magisterium, the Teaching Authority of the Church. It consists of the Pope and Bishops. Christ promised to protect the teaching of the Church: “He who hears you, hears me; he who rejects you, rejects me, he who rejects me, rejects Him who sent me”. (Luke 10.16)
In the Gospel Reading today (John 14:23-29) Jesus tells us, “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine, but the Father’s who sent me.”
“These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
Simple faith – simple words. Do not add or take away from them ~ This is our faith:
Father ~ Jesus ~ Love ~ Peace ~ The Holy Spirit
Have a blessed week.