YEAR A: HOMILY FOR FRIDAY OF THE 7TH WEEK OF EASTER
HOMILY THEME: JACOB SON OF ATSU, HOW DO YOU LOVE CHRIST?
BY: Rev. Fr. Jacob Aondover ATSU
HOMILY: READINGS: ACTS 25:13b-21, PSALM 103, JOHN 21:15-19
While going through the First reading,the gospel of Matthew 10:18 came to my mind; where Jesus says: “You will be dragged before governors and kings because of me”. I saw this come through in the life and times of Paul. Then I remembered the promise of help too in Matthew 10:19 “When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say”. Time and again he was held captive but saved by the enlightenment of the Spirit. My beloved brothers and sisters, as we go about our duties as Christians, we are bound to be reviled and persecuted, though we may not be dragged to authorities as Paul was. When these situations arise, we may do well to confidently repose our trust in God who promises never to abandon his own (Psa. 94:14).
Friends, let us personalize Jesus’ question to Peter: ‘Jacob, son of ATSU, do you love me more than everyone else?’ This is Jesus asking us: ‘are we prepared to give up our trades, works of life; comfort, successful careers, our youth and everything, in order to give ourselves forever to my people and to my work? It could also mean that Jesus wants us to rededicate ourselves to our Christian call. Like Peter, we had promised at our baptism “We’ll never desert you” (Matt. 26:33); but we deny him daily through our sins and unholy attitudes. Jesus wants us to reaffirm our commitment to him today by becoming more Christian in our thoughts, words, actions and even our inaction.
Peter’s reply to Christ, brought him a responsibility – shepherding Christ’s flock. We only prove our love for Christ when we love others, cater for their needs and kindly lead them towards eternity. A cross was also Peter’s reward, when his time was due, he bore testimony to Christ with his blood, indeed he was dragged to where he’d ordinarily not go. Our love for Christ and his work will always bring us a task – responsibility and a sacrifice. It may be our very lives that would be demanded of us in Christ’s name. Are we ready to take up Jesus’ task not forgetting its accompanying sacrifice? For the grace to renew our commitment to Christ hence worship him as we truly ought to, we pray through Christ our Lord…
FEED THE POOR, HELP THE NEEDY