Always be willing to speak about reason for hope
Reflections on the readings for the Sixth Sunday of Easter (May 17, 2020): Acts 8:5-8,14-17; PS 66:1-3,4-5,6-7,16,20; 1PT 3:15-18; JN 14:15-21
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Today’s Scripture readings draw our attention to the importance of the Holy Spirit in our lives. In the Gospel, Jesus tells His Apostles that He is sending them another Advocate who will remain with them, the Spirit of Truth. In the Acts of the Apostles, we hear that many Samaritans were converted by the deacon Philip and how Peter and John went there to pray for the people and lay hands on them so that they could receive the Holy Spirit. In the second reading, St. Peter tries to encourage the faithful to be prepared to proclaim their belief in Christ even if it means they might suffer for it. “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence.… It is better to suffer for doing good, if that be the will of God, than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered for sins once.… Put to death in the flesh He was brought to life in the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:15-18).
Just as he and the other Apostles of Jesus learned that our Redeemer had to suffer and die to save us, St. Peter told new Christians that we, too, may be called on to suffer in His name. We need to willingly and wholeheartedly persevere in expressing our belief in Jesus, no matter the cost. The Son of God came to give us eternity and He asks us to emulate Him, to follow His way. We are reassured that the Holy Spirit will be with us to guide us through whatever troubles we face on earth. And our Advocate will surely lead us to our heavenly home. We must choose to put ourselves into the merciful care of the Spirit of God each day of our lived.