When we think of the Holy Spirit, we can sometimes have an amorphous understanding that does not give us a good grasp of who He is. Indeed, most Catholics were not brought up with good Catechesis on the Holy Spirit. If you imagine the presence of Christ, within you, you understand the Holy Spirit. Imagine further, the presence of Christ within this community and guiding the entire Church just as Christ guided his apostles, then again you have a good image.
The mission of the Holy Spirit is to help us to fulfill the will of the Father, to go out into the whole world and make disciples of all nations. That means to make powerful followers of those around us as we all continue the mission of the Church which is the salvation of souls. We have an invitation to learn who we are as humans beings through the leadership of the Holy Spirit in our lives and to teach others the same.
Never forget that the Catholic Church teaches that the same holy spirit who raised up the prophets from Abraham and Lot to Jeremiah and John the Baptist and more is the one who is calling upon you to be disciples. What is it that he calls you to do? To bear fruit in the world, just as the prophets did and just as the disciples did in the time of Jesus and the saints do throughout the history of the Church.
Hear this homily as it was delivered live at mass.
That means bear fruit for the Kingdom of God; that means to lead others to salvation and to eternal life. We have a call to be prophets by the way we live our lives. It is a powerful call. God himself may do great things if we allow him to manifest himself through our lives just as he did in the lives of the prophets, the apostles, disciples and saints.
But too many do not understand that mission and they reject it. They choose to listen to other voices and those voices lead away from life and salvation. Are we listening and learning from the Holy Spirit or are we hearing another voice?
St. Paul in his second letter to Timothy warns that people in the last days will make a pretense of religion but deny its power. Those are some words that we need to understand. Jesus taught the apostles that when the Holy Spirit comes upon them, that they will receive power. What is this power? To be agents of the Lord that he uses for lofty purposes. To be channels of God’s grace that lead others to salvation.
Again this does not, necessarily, mean standing on a street corner and thumping a Bible. It does mean simply going to church and living the faith during the week, it means teaching children the faith that they be powerful agents of the gospel. It means being an agent of God’s love when others are spewing hatred. It means praying for those whom others dismiss as being hopeless. It means rooting oneself in prayer and trusting in the power of that prayer. It means that one is an agent of God’s plan of salvation. It means trust in God when we pray to Him. It means daring to ask for miracles and knowing that there will be an answer of one type or another to our prayer. It means to know the works of the prophets and to build our own life upon them.
What does the opposite look like, when we deny its power, we consider religion nothing more than seeking to do what we think is the right thing in the world and being deaf to God’s vision in the same world.
When we do not bear fruit for the kingdom the result is not less fruit, it is the rise of the fruit of weeds that destroys those created in God’s image.
There are many that recognize the loss of faith in our world. A whole new vision of the human being is arising and it is a destructive vision. What is the cause of this vision the loss of faith in the world. When communities lose their prophetic nature then what happens is not the loss of faith, but the rise of those forces that seek to destroy humanity.
When our church loses it ability to embrace the holy spirit, the prophets become silent and destruction grows.
Each of us were called at Baptism and even Confirmation to embrace the voice of the Holy Spirit in our church and to live his teaching so that not only we could be saved but those around us could be saved as well.
It is important that we understand our prophetic call and live it. We cannot be like the prophet who chose not to prophesy, there is too much as stake. What happens when the prophet is silent, the false prophet grows and what does he preach? It is what the Old Testament calls: Peace and security. He cries out “do not pay attention to the warning signs, do not heed warnings, just know there is no danger there is nothing ahead but peace and security.” The true prophet knows those are false hopes, that trouble does lie ahead and that we want to call people to prepare.
It is the Lord who shows us how to prepare and He leads us to heed the warning.
Right now the Church is going through a difficult time, but there is another warning out there. You see the Lord always calls his people to faithfulness prior to the storm so that they will be prepared. Those who heed the words of the Holy Spirit know the storms are coming, those who listen to the false prophets are silently sunning themselves feeling that the dark clouds on the horizon are not coming our way, they are.
Are we heeding the words of the Holy Spirit, are we people in prayer, are we seeking to be faithful to our calling as Catholics, do we see the obvious signs of the storm clouds on the horizon or have we embraced a pretense of religion that has no power and will be like a Japanese paper wall in a hurricane. Are we listening and learning from the Holy Spirit or are we hearing another voice?
During the next two weeks, let us pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit anew on Pentecost in this parish and pray that we may become more true to our call to be prophetic community to all around us. That we may see the warning signs and call others to the safety and security of the Kingdom of God led by the Holy Spirit.
God bless you,
Fr. Robert J Carr
Fr. Carr is member of the Segundo Elo of the Canção Nova Community. He is the pastor of Holy Trinity Quincy, MAand is the editor of this blog. He is the author of several books, blogs and hundreds of videos all of which you may find on Youtube. You can follow him on twitter as @frbobcarr and on Google plus as+FrRobertCarr. Thoughts, comments on the homily? Let us know at Facebook