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Thursday, 14 May 2015

Reflection/Homily: Seventh (7th) Sunday of Easter Year B (May 14 2015)

       Reflection/Homily: Seventh (7th) Sunday of Easter Year B (May 14 2015)
Theme: “Consecrate them in the Truth, Your Word is Truth”
Last Thursday, we celebrated the solemnity of the Ascension of Christ into heaven. Just as it was said then, Jesus is no more physically present with us but he is still with us spiritually – in the Church, the Word of God, the Sacraments and in our neighbours. His departure from the world has not left us orphans and that is what the readings of today assure us of. In today’s gospel reading (John 17:11-19), we reflect on the priestly prayer of Jesus Christ offered before his passion and death. This prayer strengthens us at this moment of his physical absence and assures us of the abiding grace of God around us. To this end let us take a closer look at some parts of this prayer.

Jesus knew what was going to befall him and how the faith of his Apostles would be shaken. To keep his apostles on the safer side, he prayed for them, asking his Father to keep them true to His name. In our moments of danger, temptation, vocation or business crises, have we prayed for God’s grace to abide in us or do we relax presuming God’s grace since He knows all things and is equally a loving Father?

To be true to God’s name could mean to be steadfast in faith and not to relent or fall in moments of trial. Often, we are faced with financial, academic, social or moral challenges and we tend to abandon our faith may be, out of disappointment in God or in search of help elsewhere. At those moments, remember Christ prayed for you and so do not be afraid but confront such challenges with prayer and you will see what God can do. The problem is that most of us do not pray when challenged. They believe that it is needless to pray since God who knows everything could not prevent it, while some others believe that the God who knows our secret desires will help us even when we do not pray. We should imbibe the virtue of prayer for although God created us without our aid, He cannot save us without our aid.

In his priestly prayer, Jesus was not asking God to remove his Apostles from this evil world but to protect them from the evil one. This has got more to say about the difficulties and challenges we encounter in life. We live in an evil world where man is wolf to man but instead of running away like cowards, let us strive to make the world a better place by our way of life. We can make the world a better place by living in love with one another just as the second reading (1 John 4:11-16) urges us. Love is the only weapon to conquer the evil in the world. When we live in love, there is freedom, peace, joy and tranquility of mind and body. When this is achieved, then Christ’s prayer that we may be one like him and the Father might be actualized.

Jesus also prayed that the Father consecrates us in the truth and that truth is the Word of God. At baptism, we were consecrated and immersed in the truth of God’s word. But unfortunately, so many of us have abandoned the truth for reasons best known to us. Abandoning the truth could mean abandoning the Church, the Word of God, the Sacraments, etc. and this makes us prone to fall in the face of temptation. That was the situation Judas found himself. He abandoned Jesus who is the Truth, the Way and the Life by betraying him and in the first reading (Acts 1:15-17, 20-26), we see how his place among the Apostles was given to Matthias who cherished and persevered in the Truth.

Therefore beloved friends, do not be afraid of this evil world, Jesus is there for us. All we need to do is to live in love and unity and remain consecrated in the Truth so that on the last day we shall reap the fruits of our labour and not have our place in heaven given to someone else because we have not loved. God loves you. 


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