HOMILY THEME: Radical prayer at mid-night blasts all gates and opens door.

BY: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf


HOMILY: READINDS: Acts16: 22-34, Ps. 138, John 16: 5-11

As the glorious Ascension of the Lord approaches, the drama of shock that accompanies a farewell of a departing soul ranges. In the gospel of today Jesus told the disciples that he will soon go away back to the one who sent him, the disciples were in shock and became speechless such that Jesus seemingly so to say misunderstood their predicament as they were silent. Jesus asked them why none of them asked him where he was going. He was pulling their legs to make them speak out and so come out of their shock. This was why he said to them: Because I said these things to you sorrow has filled your hearts. Yes who would be in the shoes of the disciples without getting into shock; this Jesus who while they were trying him the Jews were looking for his believers to execute as well. The fear of this made Peter deny him trice despite his earlier warning.

After his crucifixion and resurrection (which the Jews refused to accept its veracity) the Jews went still after them persecuting and killing them. The disciples in this fear went hiding in the room in Jerusalem. When they got convinced that Jesus had risen truly and had made several appearances strengthening their faith, their hearts were filled with courage and they felt strong again that their powerful miraculous master has re-bounced. They were no more afraid of death since their master who defeats it is with them; now why won’t they be in serious shock when they have come to see that their joy is short-lived. There are certain things that someone can hear and he remains mute as a dumb person because words at that time cannot explain their predicament and feeling. This was why they were in sorrow and remained silent. Jesus then assured them that the Holy Spirit would come and take over and strengthen them the more. He explained the need for him to go so that the Holy Spirit can come. His going is really for their good and they are to benefit more when he goes and remains in his former and original divine state. When he goes, he will sit at the right hand of the Father to intercede on their behalf.

Beloved, intercession comes when prayer is made. The highest intercession is the one made by the one who can change the situation and who invariably would be the one to offer what has been asked. Jesus the mediator between God and man is to assume his state for our good. I believe that because he had ascended and seated at the right hand of the Father, he saw to the miraculous event of the release of Paul and Silas while in prison.

Beloved, our prayers would receive so much favour and efficacy when it is made with great faith and radical mind. This type of prayer moves mountains and opens doors and bars of gates locked by the enemy. This is the type of prayer that challenges God especially when someone is suffering for the cause of right and joyfully accepts it as the privilege of completing what is lacking in the cross of Christ in the language of Paul. When one resigns and submits to the will of God and he calls God with all his heart not with regrets and anger but joy; suffering with and for Christ. Paul and Silas did this at midnight. Beloved, while the children of God sleep, forces that are powerful rise to work against them. The powerful and spiritually gifted faces them at that most quiet and dangerous hour and give them boot for booth and follow them bumper to bumper. While the disciples were at the garden of Gethsemane sleeping at night Jesus woke them to join him and keep vigil at least for one hour. When Christians rise up at this “ungodly” hour when wicked people operate and disturb heaven with strong convinced faith, they unlock the gates and open the bars that entrench them. This is the time to gain the assistance of that same power that at night unrolled the heavy stone on the tomb of Jesus and that power will do it again. Paul and Silas kept vigil in prayer and fasting and with powerful songs of praise unlocked the prison doors and nothing could hold them anymore.

Let us learn to disturb the heavens at those hours when our enemies and the devils operate. Let us not give in to tears that represent defeat but with songs of victory rise up to any challenge and back it up with radical and stormy prayers. Our jailers would start wailing while it will be our turn to console them. Our life after suffering at the intervention of God would convert our enemies who would ask us what they would do to be saved. Let us truly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as Paul admonished and we shall be saved; because with his right hand he will save us and we shall thank him with all our hearts. God, may you exalt your name and fulfil your promises in our lives such that our enemies would be dumbfounded and may God never discard the work of his hands, Amen.

Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf




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