An Intimate Conversation

(Homily for Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year C)

In a crowded restaurant a man, perhaps in his late forties, was having lunch with a college age youth. Because the other tables were near them, they were conversing softly. However, the restaurant gradually became quieter and quieter until the two men were the only ones talking. The people had realized the two were a father and a son - and they wanted to hear (or overhear) what they were saying to each other.

During these days from Easter until the Ascension, Jesus allows us to “overhear” some of the conversation between him and his Father. We heard, for example that the two of them are “one,” that he always listens to the Father’s voice and, and as a devoted Son, does whatever the Father asks of him. We know that we are hearing about something extremely important. This relationship existed before the world began.*

Now that Jesus is about to “return” to his Father, he tells us something else: that we can not only overhear their conversation, but can actually enter into it.

The Advocate, The Holy Spirit
whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you everything
and remind you of all that I told you. (Jn 14:26)

This happens by joining ourselves to the Church, by listening to her teachings and following them. Our reading from the Acts of the Apostles makes clear that the Holy Spirit speaks to us through the magisterium of the Church. “It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us…” (15:28)

If you have been fortunate enough to overhear a few words of the conversation between Jesus and his Father, do not remain distant. Through his Church Jesus wishes to send you the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, so that you might take part in that intimate relationship.


*This might be easier for us to conceive today. When scientists speak about "matter," they do not talk about something solid "out there," but utilize mathematical formulae to describe the interaction of particles no one can see. Or consider money. For many people it is the one real thing and they spend their lives working to accumulate it. But at the end they do not have a box filled with gold or even stacks of paper notes. What they wind up with is a series of binary numbers somewhere out in cyberspace. Those numbers of course are not the reality of "money." The reality is the shared understanding, that is, the relationship between human beings. If that is the case with something as "material" as money, how much more so with things like family, country, friendship, culture, community? In light of this, would it be so strange if the universe itself sprung from a pre-existing relationship?

Spanish Version

From Archives:

2013: Why He Came
2010 Homily: That the World May Believe (Seventh Sunday readings, but can be used on Sixth Sunday - if Ascension celebrated on Seventh Sunday of Easter)
2007: The Father Will Love Him
2004: An Intimate Conversation
2001: Praying for Timothy McVeigh
1998: I Am Going Away

Other Homilies

Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C

Bulletin (Lord of Rings & Abu Ghraib Prison Abuses, PRF Presentation)


Archbishop Meyers: A Time For Honesty

Fallenness on Display

Catholic Politicians and Abortion

It's the Culture, Stupid!

Breeding Out Bad Traits?

A Dangerous New Diversity: "Price was accused of providing her students with intolerant material. She was suspended and her salary cut by 25 percent."

Bishop Gregory Shows Courage: Priests Have Rights, Too

Self-Identified and Sexually Active Gay Couple Turned Away From Communion

Dispute between Anne Burke, interim chairman of the National Review Board, and some bishops

Pictures from Confirmation

Bulletin (St. Mary's Parish)

Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish

Parish Picture Album

MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru

(new, professional website)