HOMILY OF FRIDAY OF THE 7TH WEEK OF EASTER
Saint Philip Neri, Priest
St. Philip Neri, a 16th-century Italian priest and founder of the Congregation of the Oratory, was beloved for his infectious joy and commitment to serving others. Known as the “Apostle of Rome,” he used humor and personal interaction to guide people in their spiritual journeys and fostered a deep love for God.
Acts 25:13-21, John 21:15-19
THEME: THE DEAD MAN CALLED JESUS
According to St Francis the Sales, “We are what we communicate.” People are known by what they say. By our speech we make known the degree of ignorance or the extent of our knowledge.
While Festus was relating the case that was brought against Paul to King Agrippa and Bernice, he referred to Jesus as a dead man whom Paul alleged to be alive. This clearly showed his total ignorance of the person of Jesus because he had no personal experience of Jesus, either in the spirit or in the flesh.
Like Festus, none of us was present when Jesus lived on earth. We were not present at the resurrection scene either. Life situations may lead us to take certain steps which show that we never knew Jesus. Left to our flesh, we may not be able to connect to him. But by his spirit, we can be conscious of his daily working in and around us.
Nevertheless, he continues to live through the Eucharist, the gift of his love, and he keeps relating with us through the Holy Spirit.
Lest we sink into Festus’ syndrome, it is important for us to draw closer to him in the sacrament of his continuous presence and equally invite the Holy Spirit to make present in us the vision of his eternal glory. Amen.