Here is my homily from this morning. God bless you all!
When I lived in Rome, so many years ago now, I came to experience the diversity of the Church. So many men from so many parts of the world! Different languages, cultures and temperments. Different rites and liturgical practices. Different personal spiritualities. Yet, we were one. We were one in the faith. We professed the same Creed. We all had received the one Holy Spirit. We were united, studying together.
St. Paul today in our first reading, in what you might say were some very blunt terms, warns us against divisions in the Church. Divisions and diversity are two different things, aren’t they. Divisions divide whereas diversity enriches and ultimately unites. St. Paul tells us that our unity comes from the Spirit which comes to us from hearing and receiving Jesus Christ, whom we receive here at this altar in the Eucharist and we receive in listening to God’s Word proclaimed and preached at this ambo. Yes, the Spirit is pure gift who comes to us from the Father by receiving his Son Jesus Christ. The moral law, while need and necessary to identify sin and develop virtue, does not give us the gift of the Spirit. Thus, the moral law can divide us, if we allow it to do so, but the Spirit received through Jesus always unites us.
As Jesus tells us in the Gospel today, we must pray with perseverance for this Spirit. If we pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit, He will always be given to us. We need only ask and be open to the Son, Jesus Christ. The Spirit comes as gift, freely given, never earned.
May we this day pray without ceasing for this gift! May are hearts be ever open to the presence of Jesus in our lives so His Spirit may permeate our lives. May we always beware of divisions, and work toward unity.
The law divides; the Spirit unites.