Sixth Sunday of Easter

May 1, 2016

Father Stéphane Pouliot

Did you hear what Jesus just told us?  “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23)

Jesus tells us today that to love Him means to keep His Word.  To keep His Word means to take what He says seriously, and to do what He says.

Jesus tells us that He really came to earth and became a human being, because He wanted us to know the love of our Father in Heaven.

Jesus wanted us to know that we do not have to hide from God because of our sins.  God wants us to run to Him with our sins and ask Him: “Please God save me.”  Our Father in Heaven loves us so much that He asks His only Son, Jesus, who has always been with Him, to come to earth and show us what His love for us looks like, feels like and sounds like.

Jesus also tells us that his time on earth was too short to be able to meet everyone.  Jesus wants to meet everyone, talk with everyone, make everyone feel loved, and give hope to everyone.  So, in order to do that, Jesus wants us to meet the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is so beautiful and so powerful, because the Holy Spirit helps us to meet Jesus everywhere we are and to find our way back to Jesus when we get lost.

This morning, twenty children are going to receive Jesus who is going to come to them in a miraculous way through their First Holy Communion.

Listen to Jesus’ promise: “Whoever loves me… my Father and I will come to these boys and girls and make our home with them” (cf. John 14:23).  When we were baptized, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit came to us and made their home in our soul.  But that was not enough.  Jesus wanted us to receive Him in Holy Communion when we come to Mass. He wanted to show us that God loves us so much, that He wants our bodies to feel Him coming in every week.  Jesus wants us to experience a taste of Heaven right here on earth.  When we receive Jesus during Holy Communion, Heaven comes down to earth and we are experiencing, by the Holy Spirit consecrating the bread and wine through the priest, the love of the Father for us, and the love of Jesus who stays within our bodies for a few minutes.

I want to teach you the secret of a happy life.  If you do not want to forget Heaven while you live on earth, remember that when you receive Jesus in Holy Communion, Heaven comes down to earth.  At that moment, nothing else matters.  When you have just received Jesus, and you are swallowing the consecrated host, as you kneel, thank Jesus that in the middle of your suffering and joy, dreams and difficulties of any kind, Heaven comes to earth as God meets you.  Then, tell Jesus while you are still kneeling: “I don’t want to forget that you are within me Jesus.  Help me to love you until my next Holy Communion.”

The same children I mentioned earlier who made their first communion this morning experienced on March 6th another sacrament.  They went to confess their sins to a priest for the first time, and their sins were completely, totally forgiven.  They made sure the house of their heart was clean to receive Jesus today.  Some may even have returned to confess their new sins since their first confession.  All of us who are grown up would do well to remember that Jesus does want us to regularly let Him clean the house of our hearts in the confessional through the priest.  Jesus wants us to do that, because He can do so many more miracles in our lives, if we trust Him.  When we sin, we do not trust Jesus.  We trust ourselves and we rely on ourselves.  When we receive Jesus in Holy Communion without first taking the time to let Him clean the house of our hearts in confession, we stop Him from doing miracles in our lives.

In other words, let us take Jesus seriously, and prepare ourselves respectfully to receive Him every Sunday, and even any day of the week when it is possible for us to come to Mass.  We are able to receive Jesus in Holy Communion, because of the Holy Spirit.  It is the Holy Spirit who through the priest is transforming the bread and the wine into the body, and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus.

The Holy Spirit, whom Jesus promised would teach us everything (cf. John 14:26), is always encouraging us to listen to the Church.  That is why our first reading spoke the Truth to us in these inspired words: “For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to impose on you no further burden than these essentials (Acts 15:28)…”

The Holy Spirit and us: the word “us” means the Apostles, and the bishops, with the consent of the whole Church (cf. Acts 15:22).  The whole Church which includes every man, woman, and child who is baptized, is not just the Church in Canada, but throughout the whole world.  The whole Church also means everyone who is a saint in Heaven, and a soul in purgatory.

What an amazing God we have!  Let us summarize what we have heard today.  Not only do the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit come to live in our soul permanently from the moment of our baptism, but Jesus wishes us to taste Heaven on earth for a few minutes every time we receive Him in our bodies through Holy Communion.  We are able to do so, because the Holy Spirit transforms the bread and wine into Jesus through the words of the priest.  We must prepare our hearts to receive Jesus in Holy Communion, by letting Him in confession clean the house of our hearts through the priest. The Holy Spirit encourages us always to listen to the Church, because without the Church, there would be no possibility of having our sins forgiven through the priest in confession and no Mass.  Without the Church, there would be no possibility of tasting Heaven on earth every time we receive Jesus in Holy Communion.  What an amazing God we have!  May we always remember that our sins being forgiven in confession, as well as receiving Jesus during Holy Communion at the Mass are the two most amazing miracles which Jesus does for us every day through the Church