Homily for Wednesday of the 7th Week of Easter Year A
Theme: How much do you love your flock and what legacy can you leave behind?
By: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
Homily for Wednesday May 27 2020
READINGS: Acts. 20: 28-38, Ps. 68, John 17: 11-19
Love is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit and it is a litmus test for true Christian life and followership of Christ. God himself is love according to John the evangelist and he who lives in love lives in God and God in him. Jesus is the perfect love of God for humanity and he showed love even to the extent of dying for sinners. Anyone who claims to have the gifts of the Holy Spirit but without love is a liar and St John calls the person an empty gong that makes useless noise. He further said that no one can say that he loves God whom he cannot see when he hates his fellow humans he lives with and sees. When Jesus rediscovered Peter after his denial, he asked him: Peter son of Jonah, do you love me? He asked him this question three times to be really sure of Peter’s love before he can entrust him with serious responsibility. When Peter professed that love and Christ knew he was truthful, He asked him to feed his lamb, tend his sheep, and feed his flock. This responsibility entails a lot. It is not just leading the sheep to grazing through the mouth to satisfy the biological stomach but to feed the spiritual stomach with virtue, good leadership, and quality life, good and emulating examples. He has to feed them in all the ramifications of human needs: Psychological, spiritual, material and otherwise. This was the duty St Paul understood too well and did it to his utmost best and since yesterday has been giving his eloquent and truthful testimony of life. He presented his final report of life to the people and to God on how he lived among them and what influence he exerted in them. This was also what Jesus did in the gospel in his prayer on the unity of the Church. Both personalities lived the life of love and gave love to those entrusted to their care- the sheep of the Lord and the flock that is led by his hands.
Beloved, you are in charge of some people and you have the responsibility to show them love, to tend to them, to feed them and to care for them in love. Love is a commandment and if so, it is a debt that we owe one another. It is not optional and not selective but must be given to all and sundry. Parents must show love to their children and entire family by the life they lead. Teachers have that same responsibility (this is applicable to both school teachers and teachers of faith). Managers, Directors, Heads and Leaders of Institutions are not left out. It is important that we each time ask ourselves: What type of life am I living?
What example do I leave behind for others under me to follow? Do I show real and sacrificial love to the flock under me? What testimony of me can they give both before me and in my absence? Can I claim to be good and the people with me will they accept it to be true? How have I laboured among the people and was I a big responsibility or burden to them? Do I place a lot of burden and responsibility on them or am I assiduous and enterprising? What effect do I make in the midst of the people around me? These are self examinations that would help us sit up to our Christian responsibility and exhibition of love that God commands us for others. Jesus showed that great love by commending the flock into the care and protection of God before he left; he showed how worried he was to leave them without adequate care and protection because of ravenous wolves. How much do you love the flock under you and what legacy can you boast of leaving behind? Can the people cry from the heart and miss you when you are no more? How will your final address like St Paul be to your family, wards and all with you?
May the Lord throughout this novena to the Holy Spirit fill us with special gifts that would produce the fruit of love in our lives and show itself in our actions. Let God help us to commit ourselves to acts of genuine love for people and a desire to leave good legacy behind as we leave this world, so that God would be pleased with us for our acts of love, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf