Fourth Sunday After Easter
6 May 2012
“For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you, but if I go, I will send him to you.” Jn. 16:7
During this Eastertide, the Church prepares us for the coming of the Holy Spirit. In his book, Divine Intimacy, Fr. Gabriel, OCD. tells us: “Only Jesus’ death could merit this great gift for us, and it was not until after His Ascension into heaven that the Holy Spirit, the Envoy of the Father and the Son, could descend upon the Church.” Fr. Gabriel, p. 503 The Apostles were about to lose the physical presence of their beloved Master, but Jesus would not leave them orphans; He would send them His Spirit who would teach them all things: “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your mind whatever I have said to you.” Jn. 14:26 Jesus, by His passion and death, had conquered sin and death and merited for the Apostles and His Church the coming of the Holy Spirit. Fr. Gabriel tells us: “The sending of the Holy Spirit to our souls is the principal fruit of the Passion of Jesus.” Gabriel, p. 504 In today’s Epistle (Jas. 1:17-21),St. James tells us that the best way to prepare ourselves for the coming of the Holy Spirit is to avoid sin: “Therefore, casting aside all uncleanness and abundance of malice, with meekness receive the ingrafted word, which is able to save your souls.” Ja. 1:21 Whoever has the truth and the light of Christ rejects sin; such is the first lesson of the Holy Spirit.
“And when he has come, he will convict the world of sin, and of justice and of judgment: of sin….because they do not believe in me.”Jn. 16:8-9
Msgr. Patrick Boylan in his book, “The Sunday Gospels and Epistles,” tells us that the Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin: “Our Lord had challenged His enemies to convict Him of sin—but the world will itself be convicted of sin by the Spirit-aided preaching of the Apostles. The sin which the world will be shown to have specially committed is the sin of unbelief. The preaching of the Apostles, aided and confirmed by the Holy Spirit, will bring home to the adversaries of Christ the sin they have committed in rejecting Him.”
“Convicted…. of justice, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more.” Jn. 16:10
“The Paraclete (Advocate, Holy Spirit) will also convict the world of its folly in regard to justice. It had looked on Jesus as a profaner of the Sabbath and blasphemer: but the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ will be used by the Spirit to prove that Christ is indeed the Just One, and the Chosen One of God. The charisms of the Spirit and the growth of Christ’s Church will help to show its divine character and thus completely to vindicate its Founder. Thus even though the disciples must give up the joy of having Jesus visibly with them, their deprivations will ultimately help to establish the greatness and holiness of their Master.
“Convicted… of judgment, because the prince of this world has already been judged.” Jn. 16:11
“In the third place the Paraclete will show the world to be wrong in regard to ‘judgment.’ The enemies of Jesus had believed that, with the death of Jesus, their case against Him had been finally established. The Paraclete will show that it is they who have been condemned, with their leader, the Devil, ‘the Prince of this world.’ (cf. Jn. 12:31)
“Good triumphs over evil”
“The Paraclete will prove, therefore, that the ‘world’ is sinful, that justice (righteousness) is on the side of Christ, and that condemnation of the powers of evil has definitely begun. To the ‘world,’ then, belongs sin: to Jesus belongs justice and (the) verdict of victory. Thus, in a word, it will appear after the coming of the Spirit that good triumphs over evil, that holiness ultimately judges sin, and Christ condemns and overthrows Satan.” (cf. Lk. 10:18, 11:22) Boylan, Ibid. P. 50
Apostles enlightened by the Holy Spirit
As Jesus had said, “…he will teach you all things” (Jn. 14:26). The Holy Spirit will enlighten and strengthen the Apostles to understand all that Jesus has spoken to them. “The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth: He brings truth home to the minds of men. He will guide the Apostles into the full truth: He will lead them gradually but steadily towards the full comprehension of Christ, Who is Truth itself.
“The ‘full truth’ is not fullness of knowledge of nature or history, but Christ—‘the Way and the Truth’ Jn. 14:6. The Spirit is the guide who points the way to the Truth. (cf. Ps. 25:5 & 57:7) To the Spirit is here assigned the work which in the Psalter (Psalms), belongs to the Spirit of Yahweh. …The Spirit will announce what is to come. He will make known through the Apostles the new economy which will begin at Pentecost.
The Holy Spirit ‘convicts’ the world today.
“As the Jews rejected Christ in the Apostolic Age, so others reject Him in our day, and as the Jews foolishly believed that they had overthrown Christ and destroyed His work, so there are groups of men—even large sections of nations—today who aim at destroying Christ’s work, and representing it as useless, if not noxious, for humanity. In spite of all these new enemies of Christ, the life of the Church goes on, and is deepened and widened, and its capacity to adapt itself to every need of the time becomes every day more obvious. Now, therefore, as in the Apostolic days, the Holy Spirit is showing up –‘convicting’—the world in regard to justice. …The daily sacramental life, and the never-ceasing spiritual growth of the Church, are the Holy Spirit’s answer to false teaching and persecution—whereby He ‘convicts’ the world of ‘judgment.’” Boylan, Ibid., p. 52-3
May is the Month of Mary:
Yesterday, 5 May 2012, we were blessed to have A Day With Mary (ADWM) here in our chapel of St. Joseph and St. Anne to bring in May, the Month of Mary. We thank all who came and made the day so special for Our Lady. We, especially, thank the team of ADWM (about twenty-five men and women including several Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Immaculate) who came from London and organized this day of devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. We appreciate the commitment they make arranging many similar events each Saturday throughout the year in London and other parts of England.
First aNniversary of the Beatification of Pope John Paul II
1 May 2012
“Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied.” Mt. 5:6
Pope John Paul II governed the Roman Catholic Church as the Vicar of Christ and the Successor of St. Peter during the most turbulent period in the history of the Church. He alone cried out to the Nations of the world to live in peace and the Commandments of God. Of special importance was his great zeal for truth and justice. In an article in TheWanderer, “A Year (1991) in the Life of John Paul II,” (March 24, 2001, p.1 and 6) Paul Likoudis commented:
“As 1991 opened, as a look back at The Wanderer’s coverage shows, John Paul II appeared preoccupied with diplomatic activity on the international stage to prevent a U. S. attack on Iraq in Gulf War I. By Christmas 1990, the Holy Father had already spoken against the war 40 times, most strongly in his Christmas message of 1990, when he warned world leaders in his Urbi et Orbi address that war in the Persian Gulf would be ‘an adventure with no return.’
“‘For the area of the gulf, we await with trepidation for the threat of conflict to disappear,’ he said. ‘May leaders be convinced that war is an adventure with no return. By reasoning, patience, and dialogue with respect for the inalienable rights of people and nations, it is possible to identify and travel the paths of understanding and peace.’ Likoudis, p. 1 and 6
“…Looking back, one of the most heart-wrenching talks the Holy Father delivered that year was on his eight- day visit to Poland in June 1991. On the third day of his fourth visit to his homeland, he departed from his prepared text on the Fourth Commandment, “Honour thy Father and Mother,” and reproached his countrymen for their lack of respect for the unborn.
“While avoiding the word ‘abortion,’ the Holy Father asked his countrymen to examine their consciences: ‘All of you who lightheartedly approach these matters, you must understand that I cannot but be concerned about these matters, that I cannot but be hurt.
“‘You should also be hurt,’ he said, as lightning flashed through a cloudy sky.
Thrusting the air with his fist, he thundered, ‘Land of my brothers and sisters! How can we continue to destroy the Polish family. We cannot speak here of a liberty which makes man a slave. . . . I cannot be indifferent to this crisis. I, too, am a son of this land.’
“The next day, the Pope berated his countrymen for ‘debauched’ morals and criticized the country’s parliament for failing to ban abortion. He compared abortion to the Nazi extermination programs, saying that ‘cemetery of the victims of human cruelty in our century is extended to include yet another vast cemetery, that of the unborn, of the defenceless whose faces even their mothers had not seen.’
“‘What human institution, what parliament,’ he asked, ‘has the right to legalize the killing of an innocent and defenceless human being? What parliament has the right to say: ‘You are free to kill,’ or even, ‘killing is in order,’ where the biggest efforts should be made to protect and help life in the first place?’” Likoudis, p. 6
Pope John Paul II would not compromise with evil: “Contraception is so intrinsically evil that it cannot be practiced for any reason whatsoever.” Let us remember to pray to Bl. John Paul II for our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI and the Church he governed so well
“Could you not, then, watch one hour with Me?” Mt. 26:40
We are now in our second year of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament from after Mass until Benediction at 3:10 P. M. every day. St. Thomas Aquinas tells us how very special the Holy Eucharist is: “O precious wonderful banquet that brings us salvation and contains all sweetness……No other sacrament has greater healing power; through it, sins are purged away, virtues are increased and the soul is enriched with an abundance of every spiritual gift.” “Could you not, then, watch one hour with
Me?” Mt. 26:40