Homily for the 2nd Sunday of Easter
Theme: Fear not, peace be with you. I died, but I am alive for evermore.
By: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
Homily for Sunday, April 28 2019
READINGS: Acts 5: 12-16, Ps. 118, Rev. 1: 9-13. 17-19, John 20: 19-31
Since the pontificate of Pope St John Paul 11, it has been decreed liturgically that second Sunday of Easter be celebrated as Divine Mercy Sunday.
Thanks to God who inspired the Church to dedicate 2016 as extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy and so reminded us all that mercy should be highly focused on and solicited for as well as prayed for by all and practised by all. And so, Divine Mercy devotion is not an Association of few Catholics but a general devotion for all. The world was created by the Mercy of God and highly sustained by God’s mercy without which this world would have gone to extinction due to how far human beings have derailed and kept making God angry in grievous sins against Divinity and humanity. God continues to look on the stripes on Jesus’ body, the holes of the nails and the spear, the spittle and lacerations on the body of Jesus and seeing Jesus sitting at his right hand appealing for mercy for his beloved brothers whom he left in the world. This is the crux of the matter of Divine Mercy. If we are alive due to the Mercy of God, he expects us to show mercy to all despite the enormity of their sins against us. This is why the mercy prayer asks that: For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world. No one prays for mercy only for himself.
It is the mercy of God that brought dividend to the sinful world that crucified him in his resurrection. The power of the resurrection and the inexhaustible mercy of God made the Apostles to be filled with miraculous powers. Yes Jesus said it that: If you believe, you will do greater works that I did. It was this power at work that attracted believers to join in their numbers after the Jews thought that his death was to bring Jesus to an end. The sick were carried to the Apostles on beds and pallets and in the power of this resurrected Jesus and by the pronouncement of his exalted name, they all got healed. Even the shadow from Peter shed on the sick and even his handkerchiefs brought healing to them due to the mercy of God.
Beloved, the one we are speaking about is the one whose mission on earth was to come and die for sinners. He was not to die like men do but in his own unique form. He revealed to John what happened about his earthly death. He was adored by seven golden lamps which show his brilliance like the light since he is the light of the world. He was clothed in a long white robe and given a sash, his look was so terrifying that John fell dead and like the power of resurrection that issues from him, he made John to get up back to life. Jesus asked John not to be afraid and told him to fear not. The presence of Jesus removed fear in the life of believers since he has the word of courage. He tells us in our different predicaments that evoke fears: My son/daughter, do not be afraid for I have conquered the world for you all and destroyed all forces in it for your sake. Yes, he is the first and the last, the Alpha and Omega. He was dead before but now alive and no more to die and has conquered our death.
Beloved, Jesus meets us with the words of peace. When he removes fear, he instils peace in our lives. His resurrection is our peace and it is the Post-Resurrection gift to his Church and that was why each encounter of meeting with the disciples, he gives them the gift of peace. Without inner peace, nobody can be well disposed to serve him and do his will. We need this peace that only Christ can give and we must share this peace with others and allow others live in peace. Anyone who does not like peace and give peace to others is not of Christ. Christ gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit and this gift is what we received at confirmation and bestowed on us at the resurrection of Christ. May the peace that Christ gives remain always and forever with us and may he remove the fear that controls our life. May Jesus reveal himself spiritually to us remove doubts from or lives, and give us his divine mercy, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf