Catholic homily for the 6th Sunday of Easter Year B
Theme: LOVE, THE MIRACLE PRODUCING FORMULAR!
By: Fr. Augustine Ikechukwu Opara
Homily for Sunday May 9 2021
(ACTS 10:25-26,34-35,44-48;1 JOHN 4:7-10, JOHN 15:9-17)
The readings of Easter seasons could be summarized in three basic points. First, expressing concretely the fact of the resurrection, secondly, establishing the ultimate fact that it was love and only love that motivated God to save humanity and finally we are witnesses, not just spectators but neo-actors of the resurrection fortified by the Spirit we receive on the Pentecost. These, today’s readings bring to fore as they remind us of how much Christ himself loved us without any discrimination. They exalt us to remain in this love, and of course to love one another as Christ loved us. Being created in the image of God, we must exhibit this love. When we love we are truly being and acting like God. When we love sincerely, we testify that the spirit of God dwells in us.
Nowadays, many people long to see a great miracle from God. The problems that we face each day seem so insurmountable: economic crisis, natural and man-made calamities, wars, incurable and highly contagious diseases, moral and spiritual decay, and a host of many others. We are hoping God will now intervene and put an end to all these troubles in the world. We ask God why; we need a miracle. Unfortunately, God may not do it. He has already done His share. It is now up to us to continue His work, and in doing so produce the miracles we need. And Jesus has already revealed to us the miracle-producing formula: “Love one another as I have loved you.” Many would dismiss it as a worn-out cliché. But have we ever seriously thought about it or tried it?
We are fruits of love. The greatest miracles in our life were fruits of love. The way our parents nursed and cared for us, free of charge, is already a miracle. Stories of heroism and courage like Mother Teresa (Saint) St. Maximillian Kolbe et cetera, told and untold, abound throughout human history; and countless sacrifices have been offered on the altar of love. “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15:13). Indeed, love conquers all. Most practical miracles today happened because of love.
The love we are talking about here goes beyond mere emotion or sentiments. It is a “sacrificial love.” Strong emotion and sentiments may accompany it but they are not in themselves love. They are simply modes of expressing love. It is the commitment of the will that keep sacrificial love steadfast and unchanging. That is, the will to endure or persevere. This is the mark of a good and true Christian love. Hence, sacrificial love must be patient. It shows forbearance even under provocation. It is steadfast despite opposition, and difficulties. Sacrificial love is sympathetic, considerate, gentle and kind. This love is not jealous. It works for the good of the other. This love is not arrogant, even when we think we are right and others are wrong. Sacrificial love is not selfish. Rather, it is an act of the will which seek to serve and not be served, to understand and not be understood, to forgive and not to be forgiven. Sacrificial love is a strong commitment to help and appreciate others unconditionally.
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, to share in Christ is to follow Him by living the way that He lived. So, God gives us a path of life. There are actions and ways of thinking and ways of speaking that take us away from this incredible gift of Divine Life. Far too often today, everything is seen as good as long as it makes me feel good. This is not the way of the Lord Jesus. Love in the Gospel is not a feeling about another person, but a choice to seek the good of the other person even if I must sacrifice my own good. This is the way of the Lord Jesus.
Beloved friends as we look forward to celebrating the Lord’s Ascension and Pentecost, our Easter season is drawing to a close. The mood of today’s liturgy is reflective, inviting us to take in more fully the deep implications of our Easter faith.
I love you all!
Fr. Augustine Ikechukwu Opara