Homily for the 5th Sunday of Easter Year A
Theme: Recognize who you are before God and build yourself into a spiritual house.
By: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
Homily for Sunday May 10 2020
READINGS: Acts 6: 1-7 , Ps. 33, 1 Pet. 2: 4-9, John 14: 1-12
The self knowledge we have helps us to know our potentialities and our limitations. It helps us to know our worth and expectations of people and God. When someone does not know who he is and what he is up to, he lives in confusion and becomes misguided by false self.
True recognition of self helps one to act accordingly and to live up to expectation by doing things rightly. In the first reading we see how the apostles handled the problem that would have rocked the foundation of the unity of the brethren. When we gather as a people, we must not forget that we are from different parts and sections but made one in Christ. That knowledge should help us to keep the unity of Spirit that binds us together. We must fight against sectionalism, nepotism and favouritism which breeds hatred and destroys patriotism of the one group. When all are treated well, people would not remember who is from their side or even where they come from because that would not be necessary. It is cheating; partiality and tribalism (racism and nepotism) that make people feel bad and tend to regroup to fight the others. When a group of people feel cheated, agitation and feeling of secession comes to their mind and they begin to meet according to tribal and ethnic divide.
Let no group favour their own people more than others for justice is due for all. National assets and wealth are to be fairly distributed and all must be given their fair wages and due dividends. How I wish Nigerian leaders of the present can learn a strong lesson from this.
Beloved in Christ, what happened in the midst of the early Christians of the Hellenists and the Hebrews continues to raise its ugly head even in the civil society called Nigeria. It is happening in Cameroon and in India and other nations. The Hellenists felt cheated by the Hebrews in the daily distribution of goods. They followed the right process by sending their complaint without agitation and quarrelling to the apostles whose duty it is to oversee them all. The apostles were of Hebrew origin yet they did not sweep the ill feelings of the other group to the carpet as a no complaint. They saw the need to address it immediately and rightly. This is because the apostles recognize who they are before God and man; they knew they represent fairness and unity, justice and equity, love and charity, goodness and mercy and all other qualities of a Christian. They lived up to expectation and with the right wisdom approached it well. They recognized what is their primary duty: serving the word of God and needing no distraction. Today many ministers become jack of all trades and want to do everything at the same time. You cannot serve two masters at the same time and be perfect and give due allegiance to all. They saw the need to collaborate with others and they believed others have something to offer and can do better in some areas. They gave them opportunity and did the selection with the direction of the Holy Spirit and then the right and proper people were selected. There was no agitation over the ones selected because due process was followed and proper consultations were made. How I wish the Executives in Nigeria and all African leaders would learn their lesson from this. The ability to delegate power and share responsibility with the competent people brings unity and progress to any group of people. This is what it means to build ourselves into a spiritual house by listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit and doing things properly remembering what we are and represent. The ability to return back to Jesus as the rejected corner stone and follow his ways leads to success. Those who do so will not be put to shame in all that they do. When we are confused about what to do, we should not shy away by asking from Jesus to direct us as Thomas did in the gospel today. Ask Jesus to show you the way and he will direct you to himself- the way, the truth and the life. If you want to know the Father and his will for you, be the Phillip and ask Jesus and you would come to understand that to see Jesus is to see the Father for they are one.
Beloved, may we believe in Jesus so that we can do greater works that he did. Let us recognize that we are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a Holy nation and God’s own people who are called out of darkness of this world to his marvellous light in order to declare the wonderful deeds of God who has called us into this world as his ambassadors, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf