Sixth Sunday of Easter 2023

The story is told of several farm laborers on the Yorkshire dales, tending sheep flocks as Sunset approached. The barking of a faraway dog suddenly broke the quiet of the warm and pleasant evening. All heads turned towards the excited animal. The dog began to run across the hills – a race that was soon joined by many other dogs from around. One by one, the dogs joined the race. One by one, they left it. In no time they had lost interest and bowed out. Only one remained – the original contender. At the Fair Day on the following week, many of the spectators to the previous week’s event met. All remarked that the whole saga had been very unusual. To see so manydogs join the race and lose interest in such a short space of time proved quite a mystery to them. The owner of the newsworthy dog was asked for his analysis. Smiling he said, ‘the one difference between my dog and the others was that my dog saw the rabbit. The others did not’. We could analyze a similar phenomenon, why do so many fall away from religion, many people have stopped coming to mass, we are told that if we have a strong faith we can move mountains, yet our faith sometimes can’t even move molehills.  We ask ourselves why this is happening. One of the reasons is that maybe we have not seen and experienced the loving care of God in our lives. Jesus reminds his disciples that he will not leave them orphaned and neither will he leave us orphaned. By our faith we can see him and by keeping his commandments we are drawn into a loving communion with him. Jesus is not present as the vague memory of a person who lived long ago, but a real-life giving presence that transforms us. Nowhere do we feel so close to him as when we receive him in the Eucharist; and this is why our mass is so important. When we receive the Eucharist, we are not just in communication with him, but in communion with him. Jesus tells us in the gospel today that He will not leave us orphaned, he will send us the Holy Spirit, the Advocate: Divine Friend on call. I like to look on the Holy Spirit, The Advocate as the all-knowing troubleshooter who is the answer to all of life’s problems. As we struggle to cope with our daily needs and problems, as we grapple with doubts about our faith and religion, as we sometimes lack motivation and enthusiasm for life. The Holy Spirit is always with me reminding me of the peace that only he can give. The Holy Spirit helps us get through the trials, vicissitudes, and tribulations of our life. Let’s open our eyes and hearts to spot the generous designs of a caring God, working through the Holy Spirit