DETAILED HOMILY FOR THE 6TH SUNDAY OF EASTER YEAR C (2)

DETAILED HOMILY FOR THE 6TH SUNDAY OF EASTER YEAR C

THEME: CONFLICT RESOLUTION

BY: Rev Fr Gerald Muoka_
(frgeraldmuoka@yahoo.com) 

HOMILY FOR SUNDAY MAY 22 2022

R1 – Acts 15:1-2,22-29
R2 – Rev 21:10-14,22-23
GOSPEL – John 14:23-29

A story was told about a king who had two artists in his court who were bitter rivals. One day the king







DETAILED HOMILY FOR THE 6TH SUNDAY OF EASTER YEAR C

THEME: CONFLICT RESOLUTION

BY: Rev Fr Gerald Muoka_
(frgeraldmuoka@yahoo.com)

HOMILY FOR SUNDAY MAY 22 2022

 

R1 – Acts 15:1-2,22-29
R2 – Rev 21:10-14,22-23
GOSPEL – John 14:23-29

A story was told about a king who had two artists in his court who were bitter rivals. One day the king said, “I want to decide once and for all which of you is better artist. You must paint the same theme, so that I can judge between. And let the theme be peace.” The two artists agreed, and a week later, they came back with their paintings that depict the theme of peace.
The first presented his painting. It showed a dreamy and serene landscape with rolling hills and a lake with a tranquil surface. The whole scene spoke of contentment, peace and stillness. However, the king said to the artist: “Your picture is very pretty, but it looks boring and puts me to sleep.”
Then the second man presented his work. It showed a thundering waterfall. It was so realistic that one could almost hear the roar of the water as it crashed onto the rock, hundreds of feet below. “But this is not a scene of peace that I ordered,” said the king angrily. Then the king immediately spotted a detail below that hitherto escaped him: among the rocks at the base of the waterfall a small tree was growing with a bird’s nest in it’s branches. It was a sparrow sitting on her eggs, her eyes closed. She was waiting for her chicks to be born, a perfect picture of peace.
On seeing this, the king was delighted. Turning to the man who had painted it he said, “I like your picture very much. You have conveyed a very important thing about peace. It is possible to be at peace in the middle of the turbulence and heavy tumults of this world.”

Beloved in Christ, there are so many hostilities and violence around us, similar to the thunderous and chaotic waterfall painting of the second artist in the intro it story. Yet, we can choose like the sparrow to be at peace beneath such hostility and brouhaha. A personal reflection on the first reading of today’s liturgy generates a fundamental question, “Is it possible to live without misunderstandings, rifts, quarrels and hurts? Obviously, the answer is No. No matter the level of spirituality we operate on, our human and personal differences and opinions, varied temperamental dispositions and myriads of our enigmatic codes, put much threat to our peaceful co-existence devoid of misunderstandings and conflicts.

The events of the first reading would definitely be a scandal to so many of us. The apostles quarrelled. They had a severe misunderstanding among themselves. Yes they did. In fact, they fought dirty.They were verbose on each other. Invariably, the Galatian account of this event was more contentious (Gal. 2:1-10).

The first reading succinctly describes the first internal crisis and dispute that could have ended or limited the spread of the early Christian church.. It was the case of whether non Jews (Gentiles) should be circumcised before embracing the Christian faith or not. The Jewish christians insisted that it must be a precondition for passage into christianity. The conflict shook the foundation of the early church and deeply threatened its peace. In practical terms, it shows they are human.

However, they ceded to the promptings and mediation of the Holy Spirit in reconciling their differences. The Council of Jerusalem was convoked and they gave peace a prime place. Indeed, they found peace like the proverbial sparrow in the turbulent Waterfall that found peace from its nest below the rock.

*CHRIST, THE PEACE OF THE WORLD*
In the gospel reading, Jesus invites us to live the Easter Spirit in calmness, peace and reassurance that we all need so much. He tells us that he is ready to give us Peace which he will leave with us. He gives us his own peace. The peace he gives is much different from the peace that the world will give us for he is unique and he is concerned about us.

Moreover, by so doing, Jesus presents himself as the peace of the world, which Isaiah testified to, “And this is the name he has been given, ‘Wonder-Counsellor, Mighty-God, Eternal-Father, Prince-of-Peace” (Is 9:5). At creation, we recall that the chaotic state of formlessness, darkness and voidness (Gen. 1:2), was stilled, calmed and given peace by the power of God’s Word, whom John identified as Jesus (Jn. 1:1-4).

Little wonder, Fr _Chidubem Ohaeri_ gave the acronym of P-E-A-C-E that best presents Jesus as whom the world needs viz: P = PROBLEM + E = EXPIRES + A = AS + C =CHRIST + E = ENTERS (Problem expires as Christ enters).

*STEPS TOWARDS CONFLICT RESOLUTION*
Conflict resolution is the process of resolving an issue or problem between two or more people. The following should be considered:

(i) *PEACE IS A GOAL.*
Peace doesn’t just happen; we make peace. In that sense it is a goal; something we desire, something we strive for. In the beatitude Jesus doesn’t bless those who have a peaceful disposition, as good as that might be. He doesn’t say, “Blessed are those who are peaceful.” The focus is not on the personality but on the action of the person Jesus describes. Those who are blessed are those who “make” peace.

(ii) * GIVE DIALOGUE A PRIME PLACE*
In brokering peace between parties, dialogue must be considered and sustained. There is nothing like, whoever is wronged should forgive and forget. Never, allow them to open a dialogue. This will enable them pour out their heart and eschew grudges. The apostles resolved the Circumcision quagmire with dialogue. They all spoke their minds before embracing peace.

(iii) *AGREEMENT IS ESSENTIAL *
In conflict resolution paradigm, the disagreeing parties must be made to agree. This is the highest and most difficult aspect of brokering peace. For the two parties to shake hands and accept one general solution, they must let go or rather, a party must let go. In the Jerusalem Council, the seemingly weak party won the day. The decision favoured the gentiles as against the Jews themselves.

_*LIFE MESSAGES*_

(1) *CONFLICTS ARE INEVITABLE*
When people live or work together, some level of conflict is inevitable, because friction is a sign of life in relationships. So, disagreements are inevitable, as much as we have different personalities, goals, and opinions. Disagreements, rifts, quarrels and conflicts are part of our humanity. We cannot do without them. But we ought to remember that peace defines who we are as children of God.

(2) *PEACE IS A CHOICE*
Amidst the raging turbulence and chaotic co-existence in the world today, we can still make a choice; either to be at peace with the world around us or be at war with it. Remember, the proverbial sparrow in the artist’s painting of peace. The bird chose peace amidst the thundering waterfall. Make a choice today.

Finally, a priest once narrated an experience of his private retreat at a monastery. He wrote, “I spent four days with two dozen men who have taken vows of poverty, silence, and celibacy. These men had made sacrifices in their personal lives far beyond any sacrifice you or I will ever make. They left behind families and friends, turned their back on the possibility of marriage and children, let go of the dream of a fulfilling secular career, and devoted their lives to constant prayer and manual labor.
Even though they had escaped many of the pressures and problems we deal with in the “real world,” there was one source of stress they weren’t able to escape in this little community: the stress of conflict between one another. I noticed that some of them got on each other’s nerves. I noticed that some of the relationships between the brothers were a little strained, due to disagreements over job responsibilities, personality conflicts, and failed expectations. Even though these men showed a radical commitment to Christ and were willing to sacrifice above and beyond the call of duty in order to serve him, they were not able to escape the reality of personal conflict.

Beloved, If you live or work or associate in any way with people, you will most likely experience conflict. The only way to escape it completely is to live in the desert all alone. Since that isn’t a realistic option for most of us, we will be much better off learning to handle the conflict that comes up from day to day.

*BENEDICTION:*
MAY THE GOOD LORD OPEN OUR MIND AND WILL TO ALWAYS STRIVE AFTER PEACE AND MUTUAL CO-EXISTENCE AS ONE PEOPLE.

*GOD BLESS YOU!*
*HAPPY SUNDAY!*

*FR GERALD MUOKA*

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