Homily for Wednesday of the 7th Week of Easter Year A
Theme: We are Like Sheep Among Wolves; we do not Belong to this World.
By: Fr. Evaristus Abu
Homily for Wednesday, June 5 2019
Acts 20:28-38, Psalm 68 and John 17:11-19
“I have given them thy word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not pray that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil one.” (John 17:14-18)
The prayer of Jesus in today’s Gospel passage carries a lot of deep-seated messages which we see clearly manifested even in our first reading. Jesus’ prayer is both prophetic and instructive.
*First, Jesus highlights the hatred of the world.* As beautiful as the Christian message is, the world has never liked Christians. We preach a Gospel of Love, forgiveness and non-attachment to worldly goods. But the world prefers the Gospel of survival of the fittest, an eye for an eye and it defines success in terms of one’s ability to grab an abundance of worldly goods. This is why we are such a huge threat to the world.
St. Paul in today’s first reading mentions the fact that “fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock…” (Acts 20:29). It shouldn’t surprise you to know that there are many so determined to crush Christianity that they go to the extent of pretending to be members of the flock. Their mission is simply to destroy and most often they target the leaders, weaken their morality, dispossess them of their spirituality and use them as agents of scandal, commotion and confusion.
*Secondly, Jesus asks for protection from the evil one.* We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers. (Ephesians 6:12). Nevertheless, we wrestle not as victims but as victors because as Jesus himself says, “I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). The devil, the evil one has been defeated already in the Cross of Calvary.
*Thirdly, Jesus defines the Christian life as a missionary enterprise.* “As thou didst send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.” (John 17:18) To be a Christian at all is to be on a mission. Our mission is to preach first by our very life and then by our words the Good news of salvation brought by Jesus Christ.
Our mission is to promote God’s kingdom on earth not merely to amass the world’s riches. What does it profit to gain the world and forfeit your soul? (Mark 8:36) We are not here to become successful as the world sees it. We are here to prepare for heaven like servants given talents to trade as they wait for their Master’s arrival. (Matthew 25:1-30).
St. Paul in his farewell speech mentions the fact that during his stay, he did not covert anyone’s silver or gold or apparel but worked with his hands to meet his necessities. As ministers of God, we must never become a burden to our flock and this is why the church ensures we take a vow of poverty. It is sad that many of us are so ashamed of poverty that they prefer to flaunt their riches and openly boast of their wealth while others who are truly poor are always complaining. We must learn to love our poverty and be proud of the fact that we do not have riches because we are a sign to the world of the vanity of riches. *A minister who is poor and yet happy and content is by himself a message, a sermon to the world.
* This world is not our home. We are only passing through. Why do we have to worry and worry because we do not have much of what the world is offering? Knowing how short our time is, why can’t we stop pursuing gold, power and prestige when we would soon leave all of it behind? Why don’t we focus our energies instead on things that last forever – on how to make heaven?
Let us pray: Come Holy Spirit, fill my heart and enkindle in me the fire of your love. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Wednesday of the 7th Week of Easter. Bible Study: Acts 20:28-38, Psalm 68 and John 17:11-19).