Homily for Friday of the 7th Week of Easter Year A
Theme: ADVANCED WITNESSING!
By: Fr. Ben Agbo
Homily for Friday May 29 2020
*Act 25 :13 – 21, Jn 21 :15 – 19.
In today’s gospel, we hear the ‘almighty question’ which Jesus asked Peter : ‘Do you love me more than these others do?’ It was, by no means an unreasonable question since Peter had said days earlier ‘I do not know the man’, Matt 26 :74, the same person who said at the beginning ‘You are Christ the Son of the living God’, Matt 16 :17. The Exam was no longer theory but practical. It was no longer on mental endowments or his theological grasp of Christology but only on love which was to be demonstrated practically through Pastoral sacrifice.
Advanced love begets advanced witnessing, as Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers, Eph 4 :11. The higher the love, the higher the Pastoral commitment. The request is the same : ‘Feed my sheep’. Just look at Saints Peter and Paul – They sinned a lot but what saved them was the effort of their last days.
* Story of the repentant sinner who died at 70 at his death bed he said : ‘Lord, forgive me as you forgave the thief upon the Cross’. A voice spoke from the inside ‘Sinners cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven’. It was the voice of St Peter, Kg David and St John. Arguments ensued but love triumphed at the end and the gates of paradise opened.
Just look at St Paul in today’s 1st reading and see how advanced love can lead to advanced witnessing. From Antioch to Jerusalem to Caesaria to Rome, he kept witnessing . From Governor Felix to Governor Festus to King Agrippa to Augustus Caesar he kept on witnessing with passion. At a point, Governor Felix shouted at him ‘Paul, your great learning is making you mad!… ‘I am not mad, your Excellency ‘, Paul witnessed on, ‘ King Agrippa, do you believe in the prophets? I know you do!’ At this moment the King said ‘A little more, your arguments will make me a Christian’. Paul replied, ‘I wish before God that not only you but all who are listening to me will come to be as I am’, Act 26. Chai! What a passionate display of advanced witnessing!
May God put within us again the fire of evangelism in Peter and Paul. I don’t know whatever is our present day challenge towards evangelization? Is it poverty? Is it the danger of Islamization? Is it the fear of CoViD 19? May this Pentecost celebration rekindle in us, Catholics especially, the zeal for witnessing to what we believe in. If we don’t, the Muslims may soon take over our hearts with their knives and matchets.
Happy Pentecost weekend!