PRAYING AND WAITING FOR THE PROMISE OF THE FATHER. HOMILY FOR THE 7TH SUNDAY OF EASTER (YEAR A). Rev. Fr. Boniface Nkem Anusiem Ph.D.

 

PRAY AND WAIT

“While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to WAIT there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:4-5).

Waiting is one exercise that could be draining, physically and emotionally. However, life is all about waiting. In fact, we just have to wait and be patient in waiting (Psalm 37:7). Today, the First Reading (Acts 1:12-14) tells us that after the ascension of our Lord into heaven, the apostles returned to Jerusalem and “were CONSTANTLY devoting themselves to PRAYER” (vs. 14). We can see clearly that the gap between the ascension and the  coming of the Holy Spirit was a time of WAITING which was also filled with “CONSTANT PRAYER.”

Prayer could be defined as our communication and connection with God. This communication and connection would become more efficient when we make our prayer constant (Luke 18:1;1Thess.5:17). Like most people would say, we become better at something when we do it repeatedly. The same dynamic applies to praying.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost not just because it was a promise, but more immediate, because of the prayers that stormed the heavens from the Upper Room where Mary and the apostles gathered together in one accord (Acts 2:1-2).

Before something would come from heaven something must leave the earth. The prayers at the Upper Room in Jerusalem opened the Upper Room of heaven for the Holy Spirit to pour forth on the apostles. This demonstrates a strong and effective communication between earth and heaven which brought forth the promise of the father; namely, the Holy Spirit.

In the Gospel Reading (John 17:1-11), our Lord Jesus Christ renders what we know as the High Priestly prayer. He prays heartfully and intensely. His prayer is not only for us but also about us. The passage began by telling us that after Jesus had spoken THESE WORDS, he looked up to heaven and prayed.

One would be curious to ask, “which words.” The answer could be found in preceding Chapter (John 16). An attentive look at the Chapter tell us more about the promise of another advocate; the Holy Spirit whose coming would complete and confirm the work of Jesus Christ.

Our Lord takes the route of prayer to match his words with action. We learn from the priestly prayer of Jesus Christ the need for us to pray and remain in prayers. Prayer is the only tool we can use to communicate and connect with God. When we stop praying we lose our communication and connection with God.

As we look forward to the Pentecost, we are invited to climb to the Upper Room of prayer and raise our voices to God who would not delay in answering us even when it lingers (Heb.10:37). The Holy Spirit will not force his way into our lives; the prayerful disposition of our Lord encourages us today to invite the Holy Spirit to come into our lives.

As we march into this week that will lead us to the Pentecost. Let us continue to storm the heavens with our constant prayers as we await the outpouring and baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Have a wonderful week as you keep up the communication and connection with God in prayer.

Fr. Bonnie.

One Comment on “PRAYING AND WAITING FOR THE PROMISE OF THE FATHER. HOMILY FOR THE 7TH SUNDAY OF EASTER (YEAR A). Rev. Fr. Boniface Nkem Anusiem Ph.D.

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