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Saturday, 4 May 2013

Reflection/Homily: Sixth (6th) Sunday of Easter Year C (May 5 2013)



Reflection/Homily: Sixth (6th) Sunday of Easter Year C (May 5 2013)
Theme: Peace: An Indispensable Gift

Peace is an indispensable gift that every individual seeking to make a reasonable progress in his/her life requires. It is indispensable for every society seeking growth and development. In fact, peace is a sine qua non for an authentic existence and that is why in the gospel reading (John 14:23-29) it became Jesus’ precious gift to his disciples before he left them. Over the centuries, Church leaders have fought strenuously, to maintain this gift of peace not just in the Church but in the society where the Church exists.

Pope John XXIII in his encyclical letter Pacem in Terris observes that one of the greatest threats to world peace is the invention of nuclear weapons and he thus called for the abolition of such nuclear weapons that man may live happily without fear in the world the maker has place him in charge of. But today, we observe that in almost every corner of our society peace is disturbed. So many nations are still fighting each other. There is violence and social unrest almost everywhere. Most Families are under serious moral and socio-cultural attack and most individuals have lost the sense of peace. The language the modern man understands is nothing but violence and conflict.

Today, Jesus not only promises us peace but he equally gives us the precious and indispensable gift of his peace. Jesus’ peace is not the peace achieved after several years in court, it is rather the peace that is inspired by the tranquility of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit who is the Advocate will teach them the need for peace and will remind them all that Jesus taught and practiced about peace. To give this advocate the chance to do this in our lives, we have to genuinely love God and obey his commandments.

However, the liturgy of today challenges us in a greater way to strive for the maintenance of peace in our minds, families, Church and in the society in which we live. One of the popular misconceptions about peace is that peace involves the total absence of conflict. Peace is not as a result of the absence of conflict but the wise resolution of conflicts since conflict is part and parcel of our society. Peace is the triumph of love over hatred and revenge. It is the product of dialogue and tolerance.

We see a practical illustration of this point in the first reading (Acts 15:1-2.22-29) where the early Church experienced a conflict that threatened the unity of the Church and the faith of the early gentile converts. Some people taught that the gentle converts must obey the Jewish law of circumcision even at adulthood before they could be saved. This caused a lot of controversy and instead of the Church leaders refuting this teaching violently, they convoked a council to deliberate over it and at the end a compromise was reached.

Beloved friends, how do we react to conflicts that rise up among us? How do we resolve them? Because of the imperfection of man, conflicts and misunderstanding must arise. Because we live in a society where each individual is unique, it is normal to experience behaviours of all sorts. What matters most is not the conflict that come up as we interact with each other but how we react to and resolve them. The way we do these determines how disposed we are to maintain peace in the society.

For peace to reign however, certain ingredients are needed. Some of these ingredients are love, dialogue, tolerance and obedience. In the first reading, peace was established in the early Church because the early Christians loved each other. This love encouraged them to go into dialogue. They reached a compromise because they could tolerate each other and that was what inspired the early Christians to obey the decision of the council. When we follow these steps in resolving our conflicts, surely peace will be restored.

Today, most families are torn apart because they lack love among them. Relationships are broken because of the inability of the parties to go into dialogue. Communities go to war because they cannot tolerate the other and there is so much anarchy and violence in the society because people can no longer obey. Today, Jesus therefore invites us to maintain peace everywhere. This peace must begin in us when we are in good terms with God. It must be made manifest in our families and Churches before it becomes relevant in the society. It is only when we are peaceful that we can inherit the new and holy city Jerusalem talked about in the second reading (Rev. 21:10-14.22-23). God loves you.

2 comments:

  1. Tochukwu Ben3:08 pm

    Very interesting reflection and my broda uwakwe is a wonderful give 2 all the lovers of good homilies and reflections.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very insightful homily. Thank you for sharing your inspiring reflections with us.

    ReplyDelete

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