YEAR A: HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF HOLY WEEK
HOMILY THEME: I have made you a covenant and a light to the people for their salvation.
BY: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
HOMILY: READINGS: Isaiah 42: 1-7, Ps. 27, John 12: 1-11
One of the wonderful things about God is that he has peculiar mission for every human being he has caused to be on this earth, no one comes here by mistake and forgotten as he apportions mission to all. Isaiah is such a wonderful Messianic Prophet who reveals the mystery about Christ especially in speaking about his earthly mission. It was he in earlier part of Chapter 42 that revealed what the Spirit set upon him has mapped out for him what to do: The Spirit of the Lord has been given to me; he has sent me to bring good news to the poor… Here today he continued that Jesus is the chosen one of God who is pleasing to the Father. This was later spoken by the voice of the Father at his baptism and alluded to at Transfiguration. He testifies the indwelling of the Spirit of God in him which will enable him bring forth true justice to the nations devoured by unjust structures and ideas. Isaiah had to speak about this today to make the Jews and their likes know that Jesus is the chosen one of God and remains focused on his mission.
Beloved, Jesus does this calmly without making himself the object of attraction and praise. He will bring drastic changes in the world’s structure yet without destroying anything as exemplified in his not going to crush the reeds. This is a sound note of caution for pastors and priests of today to take to heart. He is not going to allow discouragement of sufferings and rejection, attacks and persecutions to stop him from fulfilling his divine mission. Jesus is the one called by God in righteousness and preserved by the Father in his own hand and he remains a covenant of God the Father to the world. This is what he has called any genuine Christian to be. We are to be light to the blind world and cannot add to the blindness of the world that we are called to enlighten. Many who are imprisoned by their evil habits and sin must be liberated by our luminous lives and examples not just by our words of preaching.
Beloved, Jesus has to go to Bethany to the house of Mary, Martha and Lazarus to bid them farewell and use them as signs of covenant to the world. Lazarus was to preach to the world that Jesus who raised him from the dead cannot be killed or be defeated by death; surely he will rise on the third day as he had earlier announced. Can he who gives life die? Not possible because he is life itself? Did he not say: I am the way, the truth and the Life? Mary had to show the penitence of his brethren- the sinful people of the world by knelling and wailing for our sins and wiping his feet with her hair. She had to play ahead the part of early Sunday morning when that oil with the fragrance of God’s glory will be sent to the tomb to anoint it waiting for resurrection. She has to fulfil the mission of the Magi who gave him Myrrh at birth in preparation for his death. Jesus quickly made Judas and his types remember this when he said: Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of my burial. The people who did not want to accept being part of the covenant of God and who would destroy anyone who tries to be like Lazarus would want him dead so that nothing points to the glory and power of God; this was to run away from the qualms of their conscience. Lazarus remained a sign for people to believe in Christ what of you? Can you afford to disappoint God who made you his sign?
Beloved, may the Lord help us with his grace to remain focused in our God-given mission despite all odds and may we know that we are signs to the darkened world and act as such in our daily life especially this Holy Week. May Jesus continue to be our light and salvation so that we might not fear whatever that comes our way. When enemies go after us, may God see to their downfall as we race to safety and place of rest prepared for us by Him. We shall by his grace see the Lord in the land of the living, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf