HOMILY FOR THE 7TH SUNDAY OF EASTER YEAR A.
THEME: The Hour of Glory.
BY: Fr. Uchenna Onyejiuwa.
Deep down in every man and woman, there is a deep longing for glory, an inner desire to be successful and be seen to be successful in whatever field of life one finds himself. But not everyone has the will and stamina to undertake the tasks that will bring it about because every moment of glory is usually preceded by hours of hard/strenuous work. And it is the desire to alter this natural course of life so that one can have his or her own taste of glory without having to work for it that gives rise to criminality, which is gradually becoming a norm in today’s world. Such an approach can only guarantee ostentation but not glory, for a true feeling of glory comes with following the normal course of life to accomplish something great. In other words, hard work is its own reward.
Today, our Lord Jesus Christ, in His High Priestly prayer, raised His eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come: glorify your Son so that your Son may glorify you; and, through the power over all mankind that you have given him, let him give eternal life to all those you have entrusted to him.” Further into the prayer He says “I have glorified you on earth and finished the work that you gave me to do.” According to St. John’s account, this was the last act of Jesus before His arrest and eventual crucifixion, which goes a long way in clarifying what He meant by His glory. His glory is in accomplishing the work given to Him by the Father no matter how difficult it is. He finds glory in His cross. And He has promised to allow us to share in that glory if only we will be willing to accept our own crosses. “And eternal life is this: to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
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There is a satisfaction that comes with accomplishing a task which gives one the confidence to demand his reward and think worthy of it. When St. Paul got to that point in his journey of life he exclaimed, “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing” (2 Tim 4:6-8). When Paul made this proclamation he had already passed through the crucible for the course of Christ and was still ready to take more. There is never a shortcut or another way to it, the other Apostles were not spared either. That is why St. Peter is saying in the second reading of today, “If you can have some share in the sufferings of Christ, be glad, because you will enjoy a much greater gladness when his glory is revealed. It is a blessing for you when they insult you for bearing the name of Christ, because it means that you have the Spirit of glory, the Spirit of God resting on you.” He goes ahead to warn us against suffering as a result of our involvement in criminality. The only suffering that leads to glory is the suffering that we endure for the sake of Christ.
Beloved, of all the glories we desire to possess in this life none can be compared with the divine glory which awaits all who served the Lord faithfully here on earth and died in Him. But we must seek through prayers the help that comes from the Holy Spirit, just like the Apostles in the first reading of today; for left to ourselves we can achieve nothing and what will await us will only be destruction. Let us, therefore, take seriously the novena to the Holy Spirit we have started in anticipation of the event of Pentecost so that we will receive the anointing and the spiritual stamina to surmount every obstacle and persecution in our onward journey of faith. Peace be with you. (First reading, Acts 1:12-14; second reading, 1 Pet 4:13-16; Jn 17:1-11).
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