HOMILY EASTER SEASON WEEK 06 06 – Year II
On Being Joyful Missionary Disciples
(Acts 18:23-28; Ps 47; Jn 16:23-28)
God is good – all the time! All the time – God is good!
That saying, popular with some people, underlines the message from today’s readings: God is good, so believe in Him, love Him and be a missionary disciple spreading that good news.
In the Gospel, Jesus speaks of the goodness of the Father, and how that goodness flows out to the disciples as joy, because of their belief in him and through him in the Father, so that both Jesus and the Father love them. That goodness of God is so great Jesus promises that whatever they ask for in his name, they will be given. God is good – all the time. All the time – God is good.
This discourse continues to reveal our God who is dynamic inter-relationship, Father loving the Son, Son loving the Spirit, and the Spirit in turn loving the Father. God is family, intimate relationship, a divine dance or perichoresis as the Fathers of the Church taught.
Both St. Paul and Apollos, in the first reading, are good examples of those who truly believe in the goodness of this trinitarian God made know through Jesus, and who are dedicated to spreading that message throughout all the known world.
Spreading the message involved both kerygma (proclaiming the message for the first time) and didache (deepening that message through teaching). The latter is what we see Paul doing in this reading from Acts – going about from place to place strengthening the disciples.
We also read how Priscilla and Acquila took Apollos aside and instructed him, gave him didache, so that he would have a greater knowledge of “the Way of Jesus” to go along with his enthusiasm for this new way of life. They are a model of a couple living their sacramental marriage as missionary disciples. Interestingly, they play a key role in the movie Paul – Apostle of Christ.
The goal of all this kerygma and didache was to show that Jesus was truly the Messiah, the fulfillment of all the prophecies of the Old Testament – that this was the time for salvation history to come to full term – and they were instruments of this process. What a privilege – no wonder Apollos was full of enthusiasm.
The Eucharist we celebrate now is in a sense didache for us, a deepening of our faith experience of Jesus Christ as the Messiah.
May our pondering of God’s word strengthen us and empower us to go out to both proclaim the Good News, for the first time to some, and deepen it in others, always with a joy that only the Spirit of the Risen Lord can give.