7th Sunday of Easter – May 21,2023
“Go and proclaim: JESUS is the source of eternal life”
First Proclamation: Acts 1: 6-14
Responsorial Psalm: Ps.68:4-5,9-11,18,19-20
Second Proclamation: 1 Peter 4:12-16
Gospel Reading: John 17:1-11
GO AND PROCLAIM: JESUS IS THE SOURCE OF ETERNAL LIFE
(A RECAPITULATION BASED ON THE HOMILY OF +FR. ROMIE JUN PENALOSA)
The first reading in Acts talks about Jesus’ ascension to heaven. Catholic churches usually commemorate it today but CEC celebrated it last Thursday, May 18, 2023. Father Jun, before starting his homily, gave us an overview of the different seasons we celebrate in our church calendar to remind us also of the unchanged cycle or pattern of time where we can continually nurture our relationship to God.
The event of Jesus’ ascension should not remain an overwhelming feeling or experience to us. The apostles who witnessed Him ascending to heaven was so joyful that even if He was no longer in sight they didn’t want to leave; yet the angel of God told them to go for it was the right thing to do, to go and live out the things He taught us to do. The same Jesus who ascends in heaven is the same Jesus who will come down again. Knowing this gives us joy, and like the apostles also, we should gather as family and pray together for if we really believe in Jesus’ ascension, our hearts will always be filled with joy. Joyous hearts will always gather to fellowship; for joy is the mark of coming together; it creates hunger to pray together, and as a church, this must be seen in us.
Joy in our hearts enable us to live peacefully. Living peacefully doesn’t mean the absence of troubles; in fact, St. Peter said that once the Holy Spirit comes in us, there will be persecution in our life. The world doesn’t like the changes that the Holy Spirit is doing in our lives, that’s why it persecutes us. But again, St Peter told us not to worry, instead we should overcome it through prayers and the joy of the Holy Spirit in us. Let us pray for strength to endure the persecutions for it is the best way we can overcome it.
The essence of eternal life is to know God and to know Jesus Christ, the One He sent for us. It is not just blessings for blessings, but it should be a relationship with Him, for knowing God is having a relationship with Him.
The Feast of Ascension also means letting go of our old self, our own understanding of God. It is receiving Jesus into our lives, which entails so much responsibility. Understand that when we receive Jesus in our life, we need to obey Him, we need to let go of certain things we as humans uphold; things we think are good for us, but are against His will. We will let go of those wrong notions we have about God and let us allow the Holy Spirit to work in us.
We all have a touch of hypocrisy and stupidity in us. But praise God, He loves us despite these shortcomings and imperfections we have. Let us allow then the light of Christ to illuminate our mind so that we can let go of these, and live peacefully and joyfully in His presence.
MERCY DE LA CRUZ-ESPIRITU
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