HOMILY FOR THE 6TH SUNDAY OF EASTER YEAR C
THEME: SPIRIT OF PEACE
BY: Fr. Karabari Paul
HOMILY FOR SUNDAY MAY 22 2022
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.”
We can’t be here on earth forever. We will leave our family and friends behind someday. But one important thing we should bequeath to them is peace. Unfortunately, some people have died leaving troubles for family members to grapple with. Jesus has, on several occasions, been preparing the disciples for His departure; He has not kept them in the dark about this fact. But knowing He will be leaving them soon and understanding what that meant for them personally were probably two different things.
Into this reality of impending absence comes the Spirit, the Advocate, sent by God in Jesus’ name to be present with the followers of Jesus.
The Advocate is a presence the disciples will need in order to love as they are called to love. It will, as Jesus promises, be as if He is still with them. Additionally, the Spirit will serve as their teacher in Jesus’ absence. Jesus has been a teacher to them and continuing this teaching will be the Advocate’s role. Having a teacher who makes a difference in your life is an important thing. Jesus did that for the disciples. He taught them in ways that lead them to leave their previous lives to follow Him in ministry and to change the world in so many ways.
In addition to the gift of the Holy Spirit, Jesus offers them peace. They will be instruments of peace in the world. Peace is a commodity we sorely need in our world and is absent for far too many. But into this discourse about absence, Jesus reassures the disciples, who were rightly feeling fear about his departure, that they will not be left alone and bestows peace on them. This is more than gently wishing them peaceful lives. No, He gives them peace. This is a gift. It is a gift of profound importance at this moment in the journey of Jesus and the disciples. He must have known the turmoil they would face when He was gone and He does all He can to prepare them for the next part of the journey. Peace is an important element we all need. And like love, peace is a mark of true discipleship that is required of the disciples, then and now.
This is not a passive peace. It is an active working toward peace in multiple situations. This Spirit and peace will propel the disciples and later the church into active discipleship and mission.
It is one thing to be peace loving but entirely a different thing to be the giver of peace. The disciples will be animated by a Spirit with both elements. And this is clearly seen in the First Reading (Acts 15:1-2, 22-29). A peace giver is a problem solver. Jesus is a problem solver. He gives His followers the same instrument. Some Jewish converts thought the Gentile converts needed to be circumcised. The dispute became so heated that it almost split the church down the middle. God’s message of hope and salvation is for everyone, no matter who they are. To spread the gospel message, we might have to work with people who are different from us, maybe those we would rather avoid. But instead of focusing on our differences, we need to remember what makes us similar – our shared love for God and His Church. To have a peace loving Church, we must have peace giving people. People who consciously and consistently promote peace. The people accept the judgement of the elders from the Council of Jerusalem because they are not men with doubled standards. They are men of justice, love and peace. We must learn the same thing.
We must work really hard to leave three important things behind. 1). God: our family shouldn’t be mistaken where we stand when it comes to God. It is not an item among options. When we fail to give them God, the world gives them devil, and they come back to steal our peace and happiness. 2) Peace: The troubles in different families reflect the minds that lack peace. Peace lovers and givers build a happy home. The home we leave behind won’t stand for long if we fail to sow the seed of peace. And this begins with the kind of decision we make when still with them. 3) Footprints: The disciples couldn’t afford to have a divided Church because Christ never left behind a divided Church. Family image is a heritage that must be cherished. The family must be consciously directed to know that we laboured to get whatever we have. Failure to do this, as soon as we leave, they take delight in selling and destroying every fruit that came from our bitter struggles and labour. Thus, they must be able to step into our footprints fittingly. When we do all these then we may succeed in leaving behind a generation of people animated by the Spirit of peace. GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE. May God bless and protect us through Christ Our Lord Amen. Happy Sunday
Fr. Karabari Paul