Mother’s Day is a Time for us to give thanks for the gift of motherhood and the gift they are and have been to us. Mothers are the first from whom we learn and experience love. Mothers are our source of strength, and it is from this strength that mothers can open for us the way of hope for living. A blessed and happy Mother’s Day to all mothers. We pray for those both living and deceased who loved us so dearly. Thank You Mother!
This sixth Sunday of Easter we see the great power of the Proclamation of the Kingdom. The Kerygma is shared, listeners are attentive and open to the word that is spoken, and through the calling forth of the Spirit they enter into a new relationship with God. What strikes me is that one would think that these Samaritans, the enemies of the Jews, warring cousins, would have resisted, but recall it is here that the Lord freed the woman at the well from carrying her bucket and she went forth the proclaim the good news, many came to believe in Jesus not only from her testimony but from what they too had seen and heard.
Phillip in visiting the town of Samaria had returned to a place where the people were already open and disposed to listen and receive the Kerygma. This people who had already been visited by the Lord are in a special way ready for Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Acts 8:6
“With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip
when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing.”
What a witness this account of Philip’s visit to Samaria is. What a difference it makes when people are of one accord, attentive, listening and open to the word being spoken to them. Wow, Philip is able to do much because the ground had already been opened by Christ Himself. The people were ready, and their lives were transformed forever through the Spirit of God coming forth into their lives by the laying on of hands by the Apostle Philip. In this there was great joy in the city having witnessed God’s active power in them.
My sisters and brothers, do we have this joy? Being a Kerygmatic people, meaning a people of the proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ and those essential aspects of the Kerygma. The core message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that the Apostles were preaching namely the good news of salvation through Jesus’ birth and life, the Paschal Mystery and resurrection. It also included the sending of the Spirit and coming again. It calls for faith, repentance, forgiveness, and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Kerygma is the heart of the Catholic faith and the essential proclamation of the gospel message. Thus, we are and must be a Kerygmatic people.
Saint Peter invites us today to sanctify Christ in our hearts and to find cause for our hope in Him. This message is vital and crucial in the time and world we live in. People are looking for hope, not going backwards but moving forward. Not turning around and rehashing the catastrophes of the past but learning from them and moving forward.
“Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts.
Always be ready to give an explanation
to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope,”
We hear the youth asking what do we have to look forward to? Where is the message for a better tomorrow, why do we have to be stuck in the past? I received a call from Spellman and Moorehouse Universities this week, asking me to please come to speak to the students for Black History Month. I was told they need someone that can be real and speak to them, speak to what’s happening now. They need to know that their lives not only matter but are valuable and vital. Their voices must be heard their struggle seen, recognized and validated. You see Saint Peter’s words today that when we sanctify Christ as Lord in our hearts, He is the reason for our hope.
What does this look like for us? What does it mean to sanctify Christ in our hearts? Let’s look at the word sanctify, it come from Sanctus, Latin for holy. To sanctify is to make holy. Therefore, we must make as it were a sacred space in our very hearts for Christ where He is truly Lord. It is Christ’s dwelling in us, our hearts filled with His divine presence and divine grace. Bam! there it is cultivate and build a place in your heart that is for Christ and watch your life change. Watch love pour forth, see forgiveness branching from you, negativity, mistrust and hatred cannot abide in the place where one is sanctifying their heart making Christ Lord over their lives.