HOMILY FOR THE 6TH SUNDAY OF EASTER YEAR C
THEME: Loving and Keeping His Word
BY: Fr. Luke Ijezie
HOMILY FOR SUNDAY MAY 22 2022
Resp. Psalm 66:2-3,5,6,8
Gospel: John 14:23-29
1. The love that Jesus commands is not just an ordinary affection. It involves a total commitment to the teaching of Jesus: anyone who loves me will keep my word. The readings of this 6th Sunday of Easter are anchored on the practical implications of loving Jesus and keeping his word.
2. In the first reading from Acts 15, we find how some overzealous members of the new faith tried to ruin the work of evangelization among the Gentiles by preaching their own opinions rather than keeping to the word of the Master. For these false teachers, the primary condition for gaining salvation is physical circumcision and not faith in Jesus. This nearly tore the young Christian movement apart. The disciples had to address the matter through a Council in Jerusalem, which redirected the Christian Community on the path of love for the new converts. The faith thrived more in the atmosphere of this love and not in the rigours of the fanatical preachers who wanted to impose the old law on the Gentiles. Fanatics always destroy what God takes time to build. But in their ignorance they think they are serving God.
3. The Gospel text from John 14:23-29 provides the theological ground for the new community in the command on love and obedience. Loving and keeping the word of Jesus makes one the abode of the Trinity. In other words, the one who loves and the community that loves make themselves the dwelling place of the Godhead. The community becomes transformed into a new heaven and new earth.
4. The Second reading from Apocalypse 21 gives a practical example of the new world that comes about as a result of living as a community of love and obedience to God’s word.
As John sees in his vision, it is a world, a city radiant with beauty and the glory of God. In such a world, all will continue to be glad and will never cease to exult, as the psalmist sings in Psalm 66.
5. As long as the love of Jesus and his word remain the guide in all our actions, we shall succeed in realising the radiant new world that John sees in his vision today. But if we continue to impose our own old ideas bereft of love and compassion, we can only continue to witness a society of darkness, conflict, tears and gloom. It is only through living in the love of Jesus and his word that we can realise that peace which the world cannot give. With this type of peace, our hearts can no longer be troubled as they are terribly troubled today.
May these words and blessings of Christ find a home in our hearts and in our society!
Fr. Luke Ijezie