Homily for Tuesday of the 5th Week of Easter

Our first reading today gives us a wonderful description of the ministry of Paul and Barnabas. Visiting small churches that were struggling in a pagan world, they put a renewed heart into the disciples, encouraging them to persevere in faith. In the gospel, Jesus does something quite similar; He turns to His disciples who are distraught at the prospect of His imminent death, and He tells them, “Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”[1]

There are times when we, as disciples of Jesus, need to be challenged, but there are also times when we need to be encouraged. Both Jesus and Paul knew how to encourage the disciples when a renewed heart was needed.

The Risen LORD continues His work of encouraging His disciples today. Getting discouraged about our prospects can get us down and stop us from doing what is within our power. The LORD wants to put fresh enthusiasm into our hearts; what the gospel calls a peace the world cannot give. It is good to turn to Jesus and invite Him to put fresh enthusiasm into our hearts so that we can be joyful in living by our faith. He strengthens us through the Holy Spirit, who is often called “Comforter” or “Consoler,” and so we turn to the Holy Spirit and pray in the words of Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury in the 13th century: “Heal our wounds, our strength renew; On our dryness pour thy dew.”[2]

 

 

[1] John 14:27

[2] Sequence for the Solemnity of Pentecost, Stephen Langton, d. 1228

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