Homily for Thursday of the Second Week of Easter
As I was praying with this morning’s readings, I found myself drawn to the drastic change that we have seen in the Apostles in the very short time since the death of Jesus until this particular time recounted in the Acts of the Apostles. These men have gone from hiding away in the Upper Room out of fear of the Jews to having the courage to go out, tell others about Jesus, and actually stand up to those they were most afraid of days before. So what changed? We get our answer in our Gospel.
“For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God. He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.”
When Jesus first appeared in the Upper Room to His Apostles after the Resurrection, He breathed on them the Holy Spirit. In that moment, the Apostles were given all the gifts of the Spirit, including the gift of courage to go out and to preach the Gospel, to tell others all that Jesus had taught them and to testify to the power of God shown in the Resurrection. It was the Spirit that allowed that fear the Apostles felt in the days immediately after Jesus’ death into a kind of motivation and a fearlessness to go out and to proclaim the Good News.
Each of us has received that same gift of the Spirit. In our baptisms and in our confirmations, Jesus has breathed on us the Holy Spirit. And, just like with the Apostles, He did not ration the gift of the Spirit. He has given it to us in its fullness. Because of that, we, too, are called to go out and to do just as the Apostles have done. We, too, are called to go out and proclaim the Gospel, to drive out demons, to heal the sick, to bring the dead back to life. We are all called to fulfill our Christian vocation – to be faithful missionaries and witnesses of the Lord’s resurrection and what it means for all humanity.
How will each of us respond? Are we going to ignore our calling in life, neglecting to do whatever we can to proclaim the Gospel in all aspects of our lives? Or are we going to embrace that calling wholeheartedly and follow the Lord wherever and whenever He calls us? Today may each of us ask for a special outpouring of grace from the Holy Spirit that He may bring to life all those gifts we have received so that we can embrace that vocation of sharing the Good News with all those we encounter.