HOMILY Theme: Season of Expectation

By: Fr. Cyril Unachukwu CCE


Homily for Sunday

Our Lord Jesus Christ before He ascended into heaven made us a promise; to send us the Paraclete; the Hoy Spirit of truth. Liturgically, this is the period when we prepare to receive afresh this august Gift in the Church and in our homes and hearts, just like the apostles and disciples did many years ago. To prepare is to be at alert and to keep watch and to avoid everything that cannot coexist with the presence of the Holy Spirit. To prepare is to ascend to the Upper Room in prayer, not just individually, but also with the whole Church, so that the Spirit will meet us prepared! Come Holy Spirit to renew us and to renew the face of the Church and of the world; Amen.

The Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ launched the disciples into a moment of expectation. They had to recede into a private place to prepare to receive the indispensable Promise of the Son of God and the inestimable Gift of the Father; the Holy Spirit. The First Reading (Acts 1:12-14) recaptured this moment of preparation “they went to the upper room where they were staying… joined in continuous prayer.” This is the background for the spiritual preparation that takes place within the Church for a period of nine days (the Novena to the Holy Spirit) before the Feast of Pentecost. Like we saw in the disciples, the best disposition to prepare for the coming of the Holy Spirit is that of prayer. Praying that we may be emptied of everything that would constitute an obstacle to His presence in us. Praying that He may come anew into the Church and into our homes and hearts, depositing His seven gifts and bearing within us His nine fruits. Praying that when He comes and makes His home within us, that we do not cause Him to despise us by our actions and choices. Praying that we receive the graces and the strength to make the Holy Spirit sure of us as to make in us His stable dwelling place.


This disposition and attitude of spiritual preparation is richly founded on Christ. Our Lord Jesus Christ never failed to teach His disciples of the indispensability of daily and constant prayers in the lives of those who believe; especially in critical and crucial moments of life. He was aware of the difficulties and challenges that His followers will face in the future. He was comprehensively conscious of the task ahead of them! He knew that His followers are all human, burdened by their limitations and weaknesses. And He equally knew that prayer is one of the main keys to success and to unlocking the mysteries of life and existence. In His last days before His Passion and Death, as we read in the Gospel Reading (John 17:1-11), Jesus Christ commended His disciples to the Father in prayer; “I pray for them; I am not praying for the world but for those you have given me, because they belong to you.” He prayed for them that they may follow after His example to make the Name of God known to the whole world and to teach others what they have learned from Him. This is not a simple task. It is a task that involves complete self denial and dedication. It is a task that requires courage and endurance! It is a task that requires patience and redefinition of priorities and values. It is a task that sometimes exposes one to conflict with those of contrary and contradictory values. No wonder Saint Peter wrote evidently in the Second Reading of today (I Peter 4:13-16), “if you can have some share in the sufferings of Christ, be glad, because you will enjoy a much greater gladness when His glory is revealed. It is a blessing for you when they insult you for bearing the name of Christ, because it means that you have the Spirit of glory, the Spirit of God resting on you.” The Spirit inspires us to look beyond the difficulties and challenges we face and to confront and overcome them in faith and hope. The Spirit is the One Who leads us through the processes of regeneration and transformation and brings us to that level of certainty to sing with the Psalmist “I am sure I shall see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.” Let us gather together in prayers and with one voice let us invoke Veni Creator Spiritus!

Heavenly Father, the presence of Your Spirit fills-up our emptiness and clears our doubts and confusions. Dispose us, as we prepare and await in prayers for His coming afresh upon us as was promised by Christ your Son, that we may become holy and godly in our thoughts and actions and be fruitful in making You and Your will known to the world; Amen.


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