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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Easter
1st Reading (Acts 17:15.22–18:1): After Paul's escorts had taken him to Athens, they came away with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible. Then Paul stood up at the Areopagus and said: «You Athenians, I see that in every respect you are very religious. For as I walked around looking carefully at your shrines, I even discovered an altar inscribed, ‘To an Unknown God’.

What therefore you unknowingly worship, I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and all that is in it, the Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands because he needs anything. Rather it is he who gives to everyone life and breath and everything. He made from one the whole human race to dwell on the entire surface of the earth, and he fixed the ordered seasons and the boundaries of their regions, so that people might seek God, even perhaps grope for him and find him, though indeed he is not far from any one of us. For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’, as even some of your poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring’.

Since therefore we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the divinity is like an image fashioned from gold, silver, or stone by human art and imagination. God has overlooked the times of ignorance, but now he demands that all people everywhere repent because he has established a day on which he will ‘judge the world with justice’ through a man he has appointed, and he has provided confirmation for all by raising him from the dead».

When they heard about ‘resurrection of the dead’, some began to scoff, but others said, «We should like to hear you on this some other time». And so Paul left them. But some did join him, and became believers. Among them were Dionysius, a member of the Court of the Areopagus, a woman named Damaris, and others with them. After this he left Athens and went to Corinth.
Responsorial Psalm: 148
R/. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights. Praise him, all you his angels; praise him, all you his hosts.

Let the kings of the earth and all peoples, the princes and all the judges of the earth, young men too, and maidens, old men and boys.

Praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his majesty is above earth and heaven.

He has lifted up the horn of his people; be this his praise from all his faithful ones, from the children of Israel, the people close to him. Alleluia.
Versicle before the Gospel (Jn 14:16): Alleluia. I will ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Jn 16:12-15): Jesus said to his disciples; “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you."

“I have much more to tell you”

Fr. Àlex SERRA (Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)

Today is a special day! Imagine the typical day when you are with your family or friends, and you have many things to tell them. Maybe you haven't seen them for a long time or you've come from a great trip or, simply, you've had a day full of experiences. You want to explain everything, but you don't have enough time. Well, this is what happened to Jesus. That is why He says: “I have much more to tell you” (Jn 16:12).

Imagine Jesus with His best friends, the disciples, telling them that when they have the Spirit of truth - that is, His very Spirit - they will preach fearlessly all over the world, with spectacular enthusiasm, and that they will have a fantastic life with Him. With this He does not say that we do not have problems, but that we face them in another way, since with the Spirit of God everything is possible. The Spirit makes everything new, unmasks our fears, changes our lives, makes us come out of that which is cumbersome to us, helps us to love those we find difficult to love... ... and allows each one to think about what he or she needs the Lord to change in his or her life.

All this is what the Spirit communicates and proclaims. A new life where the meaninglessness that we can live is faced with the Spirit of the Lord and, as Pope Francis said in 2020 at the Pentecost Mass marked by the confinement due to Covid-19 pandemic, a life of donation! This is the fruit of the Spirit: donation to others, through unity among the disciples. We receive the Spirit, not for ourselves but for others, for those who are close to us, whoever they may be....

May we be faithful disciples of the Lord today, or rather, may we be true friends of the One who gives us Life and ask ourselves: if I am a disciple of the Lord, how do I give myself to others? Do I give them life?

Thoughts on Today's Gospel

  • “From souls wherein the Spirit dwells comes understanding of mysteries, distribution of good gifts, the heavenly citizenship, abiding in God, and, highest of all, the being made God” (Saint Basil the Great)

  • “Pentecost is this: Jesus, and through him God himself, actually comes to us and draws us to himself. ‘He sends forth the Holy Spirit’ - this is what Scripture says. What effect does this have? First of all, two aspects: the Holy Spirit, through whom God comes to us, brings us life and freedom” (Benedict XVI)

  • “All the faithful share in understanding and handing on revealed truth. They have received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, who instructs them and guides them into all truth (cf. Jn 16:13)” (Catechism Of The Catholic Church, Nº 91)

Other comments

“But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth”

Fr. Santi COLLELL i Aguirre (La Garriga, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, once again, our Lord wants to open our eyes for us to realize that more often than not we do things completely wrong. “But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth” (Jn 16:13), what the Father made known to the Son.

How odd! rather than letting the Spirit (a great unknown of our lives!) guide us, what we do is, either ignore Him or “impose upon Him” what we have already decided. But what we are told today, instead, is rather the contrary: to let Him guide us.

—Lord, I'm thinking aloud... I reread today's Gospel and I think of the many boys and girls that will receive their Confirmation this year. I see those around me and I feel tempted to think: —They are still so “green”! To these, your Spirit is practically unknown; and they can be so easily influenced by everything and nothing, at the same time!

Make us, O Lord, who can be considered adults in your faith, effective instruments of your Spirit to become “conveyors” of Your truth; to try to “guide”, to help open up the hearts and the ears of those around us.

“I have much more to tell you” (Jn 16:12). —Do not refrain, Lord, from speaking to us and revealing to us our own identities! Let your Spirit of Truth help us recognize what is false in our lives while giving us the necessary courage to get rid of it. Let Him light up our hearts so that we can also recognize, whatever is authentic there inside us, which already shares Your Truth. And that, by recognizing it, we know how to thank you for it and live up to it with joy.

Spirit of Truth, open up our hearts and our lives to Christ's Gospel: that this light be the light to lighten our daily existence. Holy Spirit, our Helper, make us strong to live Christ's truth, thereby giving testimony to everyone.