FR. BEN’S HOMILY FOR THE 6TH SUNDAY OF EASTER YEAR C (3)

HOMILY FOR THE 6TH SUNDAY OF EASTER YEAR C

THEME: I WILL SEND YOU THE HOLY SPIRIT!

BY: Ben Agbo (Rev Fr)

HOMILY FOR SUNDAY MAY 22 2022

*Act 15 :1-29, Rev 21 :10 – 11, Jn 14 :23 – 29.

A. PREAMBLE
The Holy Spirit is the power of God operating in a believer. It is a promise made only to obedient Christians a







HOMILY FOR THE 6TH SUNDAY OF EASTER YEAR C

THEME: I WILL SEND YOU THE HOLY SPIRIT!

BY: Ben Agbo (Rev Fr)

HOMILY FOR SUNDAY MAY 22 2022

 

 

*Act 15 :1-29, Rev 21 :10 – 11, Jn 14 :23 – 29.

A. PREAMBLE
The Holy Spirit is the power of God operating in a believer. It is a promise made only to obedient Christians as follows: ‘If a man loves me, he will keep my word and my father will love him and we will come to him’, Jn 14 :23.
The summary of the Life in the Spirit Seminar (most apt at this period of the liturgical season) is the introduction to a spiritual journey where a believer is made to see the love of God the Father personally manifesting in the salvation which Jesus brought us. So that as soon as he makes Jesus the Lord of his life, the Holy Spirit comes as the result.
But the greatest mistake many ‘pentecostals’ and ‘charismatics’ make is to look for the phenomenal presence rather than the indwelling presence. Yet the promise of today’s gospel says: When there is love and obedience, ‘we will come and make our home with him’.

B. FUNCTIONS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The 1st function of the Holy Spirit is to unite the Church and give us peace.

– Jn 20 :20 – Peace be with you.
In today’s 1st reading, some men (uncommissioned evangelizers) were causing troubles among the faithful with their words. Yes, the good news can quickly turn into bad news in the lips of quack preachers. The power of resolution came from the statement: ‘It has pleased the Holy Spirit and ourselves (Church authorities) not to saddle you with any burden beyond these essentials; abstaining from food sacrificed to idols (idolatry), from blood (murder) and from fornication (defilement)’.

Skill in conflict resolution comes through listening to your opponent’s point of view and readjusting your position if need be without too much compromise of the essentials of our faith . The Holy Spirit helps us do this. He will give us peace – a peace the world cannot give.

The 2nd function of the Holy Spirit is that he will teach us everything and remind us all that he has said.
According to Benny Hiln: ‘The 3rd person of the Trinity is waiting for you to meet Him personally. He yearns for a life – long relationship… The Holy Spirit is your prayer partner who will lead you straight to the throne of God’. (Good Morning Holy Spirit, pg 49.)
– Jn 16 :8 – He will show the world how wrong it was about sin.
-1Jn 5 :3 – He helps us keep God’s commandments.
-1Jn 2 :27 – The anointing teaches you everything.

The 3rd function is that He is the catalyst of divine grace – the activator of holiness in a Christian soul.

To understand the job of the Holy Spirit, let’s look at these 3 processes: (a) God the Father gave the command: ‘Let there be light’, Gen 1:2. (b) God the Son performed it, Is 9 :1-2, Jn 8 :14. (c) God the Holy Spirit brought the light and rekindles it, 2 Tim 1:6-8.
*God is like the Sun, Jesus is like the light and the Holy Spirit is like the heat. Benny Hiln gives an analogy of Electricity saying that the father makes the connection, Jesus puts on the switch while the Holy Spirit is the light in the filament. (This is however, not a perfect analogy from the point of view of Systematic Theology but can help us form a little mental picture of the functioning power of the Holy Spirit).

The 4th function of the Holy Spirit is that it helps us conquer sin which makes us slaves of the devil, Jn 8 :34.

-It removes all fear. Nothing breeds fear like sin. See Adam, Gen 3:10. See Jacob, Gen 32 :7 and Pilate, Jn 19 :8. Perfect love casts out all fear, 1Jn 4 :18. He is our peace, Eph 2 :14 – 18.
According to John Rose: ‘Jesus divested all his possessions before he died: His soul He committed to His father; His body to Joseph of Arimathea to be buried decently; His clothes to the soldiers; His mother to St John (and to all who love Him) and His peace to His poor disciples ‘. The greatest sign of the Holy Spirit is peace.
-Rom 14 :17 – ‘The kingdom of God is not… But righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit ‘.

C. THE INDWELLING SPIRIT
We must go beyond the level of seeking just for the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit (gifts of utterance, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment, tongues, 1 Cor 12 : 8 – 11) and seek for the indwelling (sanctifying) gifts of the Holy Spirit (wisdom, insight, counsel, power, knowledge, piety and fear of God, Is 11 : 2). The former gifts are important; they help us discharge our priestly anointing for service in the Church. Yet the latter are more important; they sanctify us, make us holy to exercise our kingly anointing and guarantee our salvation, lest after preaching the gospel, as St Paul said, we be disqualified, 1 Cor 9 : 27.

Jesus emphasizes this point in today’s gospel when he says: ‘If anyone loves me he will keep my word, and my father will love him and we shall come to him and make our home with him’. We must avoid a paradigm shift in Christianity from this desire for the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit to the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit which only ends up promoting more of private money – oriented ministries in the Church without making the world better.

D. CONCLUSION
We need to proceed now to the ‘Upper Room’ – the place of waiting for the Holy Ghost empowerment. This is the season of Pentecost novenas and Life in the Spirit/ Growth in the Spirit seminars. We need to tarry in prayer, fasting and extensive study of the Scriptures – especially as it concerns the functioning power of the 3rd Person of the Trinity. According to Steve Clarke, what makes the Charismatic renewal special in the Church today is the revival of what he calls “expectant faith” – a type of faith that makes us ask for the practical manifestations of the gifts of the Holy Spirit as it happened to the early Christians and wait immediately to receive it (cf. Steve Clarke, “Baptized in the Spirit and Spiritual gifts”, p. 91). We need this kind of faith now but let us ask more for the indwelling gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Happy Sunday beloved friends!

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