“…when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.”
Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, the famous nineteenth century convert to the Church from Anglicanism, is famous for many theological works. One of the more famous is about the process of the “development of doctrine”. Newman had from boyhood been a keen student of history, and later in life he said that “to be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant”. Continue reading →
Reflections on the Sacred Liturgy now has a new feature. Video homilies will be posted for Sundays and Holy Days as often as possible, incorporated into the text version instead of audio. All video homilies can be found at Father Hoisington’s YouTube channel, located HERE. Below is the homily for the Sixth Sunday of Easter [A] (May 21, 2017).
What do God the Son and God the Holy Spirit have in common (in addition of course to their divinity)? Each was sent by God the Father into the world. Yet they play different roles within the Providence of human history: within what’s often called “salvation history”. Continue reading →
The Sixth Sunday of Easter [A] Acts 8:5-8,14-17 + 1 Peter 3:15-18 + John 14:15-21 May 21, 2017
“‘And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate.’”
This morning’s Gospel passage is set at the Last Supper. Although Jesus’ disciples only dimly know at this point what’s ahead for Him, the Lord Himself knows completely. Jesus was fully God all the days that He walked this earth. He had divine knowledge, and fore-knowledge. So what He said at the Last Supper was part of a plan.
“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate.” In speaking these words, Jesus is looking beyond His death, beyond His resurrection, and beyond His ascension. Jesus is looking to the day of Pentecost.
Now it’s true: we shouldn’t forget that on the evening of His resurrection, Jesus said to His Apostles, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive and forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” The Holy Spirit works in the Sacrament of Confession to forgive and heal. But when—to use a different sort of example—you go to your physician to be healed of sickness or disease, your aim is full health, so you can live your life again. Something similar is at work in the spiritual life. When we go to Confession to be healed of spiritual sickness, our aim is full health, so we can live our spiritual life again. Continue reading →
“When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me.”
Today Jesus—still addressing us from the Cenacle, at the Last Supper—prophesies the coming of the Holy Spirit. We note from Jesus’ words that—as we profess in the Church’s Creed—the Holy Spirit proceeds from both the God the Father and God the Son. Jesus Himself describes God the Holy Spirit as the One “whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father”.Continue reading →
“‘…the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot accept….’”
As the weeks of the Easter Season draw on, we hear more and more in our Scriptures about God the Holy Spirit. We hear less and less about Jesus, or so it might seem.
In the forty days between His Resurrection and His Ascension to Heaven, Jesus is—so to speak—weaning His disciples. He’s helping them realize that He’s not going to be with them in the same way anymore. He will be with them: He’ll be with them always, “unto the end of the age.” But He will not be with them physically as He was during the three years of His public ministry. He will not be at their sides to point the way, for them to talk with face-to-face.
Yet the Holy Spirit makes Jesus Christ present in a new way. This new way is through the Church. We hear about this in the midst of the Third Eucharistic Prayer at Holy Mass. Almost the whole second half of the Eucharistic Prayer—following the consecration—is about the Church. The priest prays one petition after another on behalf of the Church. In the Third Eucharistic Prayer, in the second petition following the consecration, the priest concretely prays about this, saying: “… grant that we, who are nourished by the Body and Blood of your Son, and filled with his Holy Spirit, may become one body, one spirit in Christ.” This goal is what the Easter Season leads us towards. This goal is the heart of the mystery of Pentecost.Continue reading →
In this Easter season, we continue to hear in the First Reading about the flurry of apostolic activity that spread through the world following the first Christian Pentecost. But what of Mary, the lowly Virgin, mother of the child who grew in this world in order to offer His life in sacrifice for our sins. What about the mother of Him who is the Good News spread by the apostles throughout the world? Where is Mary at Pentecost? Continue reading →
“‘This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.’”
Today’s Gospel passage is often chosen for Nuptial Masses. It speaks to the reality of love. It gives some concrete form to love, which is needed when one lives—as you and I do—in a culture which equates love with warm, fuzzy feelings. Continue reading →