HOMILY FOR THE FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT YEAR B
HOMILY THEME: “If you love your life you will lose it, but if you hate your life in this world, you will gain it for eternal life.”Jn 12:25
BY: Fr. Clem Mezie Aladi.
GOSPEL JOHN 12:20-33.
My dearest people of God, we are very privileged to be in God’s house again on this 5th Sunday of Lent. The Journey is half gone, the tone is gradually changing, the stage is gradually being set, the time for the ultimate price to be paid is gradually setting in, the message has now become more intense. Don’t give up at this critical time, persevere to the end and your victory is assured.
The readings of this 5th Sunday especially the gospel, highlights that aspect of Christian life, that defines what True love consists of and the inner struggle of Jesus in accepting the cup of suffering to inaugurate the New and everlasting Covenant. However, Jesus accepts the cross as his “hour,” meaning the stepping-stone to his passion, death, Resurrection and exaltation. He also considers his “hour” as the way of glorifying his Heavenly Father and of being glorified by his Father. The message of last Sunday invited us to rejoice for we are specially loved by God, a love He showed by offering himself to die in obedience to His father’s will. He was tortured, bruised, mocked, spitted on, nailed on the cross and finally died for us. What a love and sacrifice so profound and complete. Through His death and resurrection Jesus established a new covenant in his blood as we heard in the first reading. From an old covenant of Judgement to a new covenant of Forgiveness of Sin.
The Gospel teaches us that new life and eternal life are possible only by the death of the self through suffering and service. Our covenant with God can never be complete if we are not ready to toe His path of suffering and dying for others. By his cross, He showed us an example we should follow. A TRUE CHRISTIAN DOES NOT SEEK HIS OR HER OWN COMFORT AT THE EXPENSE OF OTHERS. Salt gives its taste by dissolving in water. A candle gives light by burning its wick and melting its wax. We gain eternal life only through self suffering and death for others. “We make a living through what we get but we make a life by what we give”.
It may sound absurd and unimaginable to some, each time God reminds us of loosing our lives if we love it, but this is the absolute truth about our Christian life and calling. This is what defines the Christian life and experience, without which the Christian life is vague and empty. If there is anything that distinguishes a worldly person and a Christian, it is the ability to offer oneself, taking the risk with ones life at stake to save another, to deny and deprive oneself of ones comfort and pleasure to make the life of others better. Parent’s can go hungry for their children to feed. They can starve to send them to school, but it becomes difficult for us as Christians to let go in order to make someone else better.Are we not decieving ourselves?.
Every one values his or her own comfort. All humans has the instinct of self preservation, so no one wants to die for another. Does is look like Jesus doesn’t have that instinct as a man? Sure he does, but He went against it to save us. Does it look like Jesus enjoyed suffering? of course no one loves to suffer, but Jesus accepted willingly to suffer because he loves us and valued our salvation more than his life.
Have you ever risked your life for another? Have you ever deprived yourself of some comfort to help another? Maximillian Kolbe followed the footsteps of Christ when he volunteered to die in place of another Man. Do we still have leaders who deny themselves comfort to build the nation?. What of heroic sacrifices? Do we still have people willing to donate organs of the body like the kidney to save the life of another.? Many in the past has done it and therefore don’t think it is an impossible course of action.
We need to rediscover who we are. Christ’s death for us on the cross will be meaningless if we cannot accept the slightest inconvenience to accommodate others. If we cannot make simple or heroic sacrifices to make others better than our selves. We need to step out of our comfort zone to discover thousands whose lives we can change by our sacrifices. We have to voluntarily embrace suffering to achieve a higher good in the society. WE CAN TRANFORM THE WORLD BY OUR SINCERE SACRIFICES AND SERVICES. Many things are going wrong today because no one wants to suffer or make the sacrifice. When we suffer in pursuit of a worthy cause of action, we come out better persons, we touch lives, we transform the world.
A life spent in sacrificial offering to God and others will never go unrewarded in this life and the next.
May God help us to discover that it takes to be His children. May He increase His grace within us to be ever ready to give up what matters most to us in sacrifice and service to others.
I keep you and your family always in my prayers.
Clem Mezie Aladi.