HOMILY FOR THE 7TH SUNDAY OF EASTER (WORLD COMMUNICATIONS DAY) YEAR A.
THEME: “…all devoted themselves with one accord to prayer…” (Acts 1:14)
BY: Fr Stephen ‘Dayo Osinkoya.
Acts 1: 12-14;
Psalm 26: 1.4.7-8;
1Peter 4: 13-16;
John 17: 1-11
In today’s Gospel, Jesus prays for the church, and speaks of his glory with God. (John 17:1-11).
This prayer is an expression of Jesus unity with the Father. It is an expression of devotion to God and love for the Church he established.
What is it to be devoted?
Devotions are times when you focus on the person of God in prayer. It is a state of heart which appears before God in prayer and worship. The first component of devotion is love. Love is primarily self-giving — giving yourself to your beloved through feelings, thoughts, and deeds. This is why St. Peter admonishes us to rejoice in sharing the suffering of Christ (1 Peter 4:13-16), for devotion involves giving of yourself, loyally and with deep affection.
The second principal component of devotion is humility — humbling yourself before your beloved. Devotion is to love and consciously humble yourself before the beloved: God.
1 Peter 4:13-16, the second reading reminds us how to react to sufferings and how to handle those challenges of life. It says, “But whoever is made to suffer as a Christian should not be ashamed but glorify God because of his name. Peter also stresses joy, saying ‘rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings (glory) of Christ.”
But how can we bear patiently our sufferings for the sake of Christ when we are ruled by pride? Many of us feel we are too big to suffer shame and endure hard times for the sake of Christ.
RELATED: HOMILY FOR THE 7TH SUNDAY OF EASTER YEAR A.
A devoted Christian strives daily to let go of pride and arrogance — and give of the self. In pride and arrogance we are unable to give love. We are so engrossed in our own thoughts and attainments that we have no love to spare. Or, we can be so engrossed in our own frustrations and fears that we have no love to give. In either case, our attention is concentrated on our personal feelings.
As we celebrate World Communications Day, the church reminds us of the need to be up and doing like the early disciples of Jesus. For us to effectively communicate Christ to our world, we must first wait on the Lord to equip us. To wait on the Lord means, to be devoted to him- going into our closet to pray earnestly for the strength to launch into our mission. It also means inviting the Holy Spirit to fill us with the message, energize and empower us.
Beloved in Christ, on this day, the theme of prayer and devotion run through our readings. Hence, we should never forget that, the very essence of prayer is the spirit of devotion. Without devotion prayer is an empty form, a vain round of words.
May the Lord hear and answer us this week and beyond, as we raise up our hearts in prayer.
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