YEAR A: HOMILY FOR THE 7TH SUNDAY OF EASTER
HOMILY THEME: The Manual of Jesus’ Prayer.
BY: Fr. Emmanuel Nwokeji.
HOMILY: John 17:1-11a, Acts 1:12-14, 1Pt. 4:13-16
Welcome to the awaiting Sunday. Since after the Ascension, we like the disciples of Jesus are praying for the coming of Holy Ghost on the Pentecost day. The Ist reading informs us the follow up of the instruction of Jesus to His apostles. They returned to Jerusalem from the mount Olivet and went up to the Upper Room; where the last supper may have been celebrated (Mk. 14:15). In that upper room, the apostles with some women and Jesus’ brethren in one accord devoted themselves to prayer. They remained in communication with God until the promise made to them is fulfilled. Prayer is a duty and responsibility for all. We must engage in it before any undertaken. Many who await for God’s promise without doing anything, neither praying nor working will not see the fulfilment that promise. Prayer attracts the attention of the God in our situations.
Demonstrating the necessity of prayer, Jesus ends his farewell discourse with farewell prayers. He used prayer to end his earthly ministry before entering into His passion and death.
The Gospel of today presents part of the manual of Jesus’ prayer.
There are two types of Lord’s prayer. The prayer Jesus taught to his disciples as pattern for praying in Lk. 11:2-4, Mtt. 6:9-13 and the prayer Jesus prayed before his disciples facie a facie communication He had with the Father.
The prayer taught ( Our Father who art in heaven…) and the prayer prayed by Jesus (High Priestly Prayer) were all addressed to the Father whose abode is in the heaven. Jesus’ posture is very significant, raising his eyes up to heaven reminds us the source of our help to over come troubles. Our help will come from the Lord who made heaven and earth (Ps.121).
In his prayer, Jesus prayed for Himself and his disciples. He asked God to glorify Him and shelter his disciples (chosen instruments for evangelization) in the world.
Jesus seeing the midnight of the Gethsemane, the morning of the scourging, the day of crucifixion and the imminent trouble at hand, He prayed, “Father the hour has come; glorify your son that the son may glorify you…” Lo and behold, the glory fashioned for Jesus by the Father was through cross. The cross that was a symbol of shame and humiliation to the world becomes am instrument and means of glorification.
The glories of our vocation be it married, ordained or religious could come through humiliation of the authorities, false accusations of the superiors etc. But if you request for a glory and it comes, may be as vindication, use that glory to glorify God. All glory from God is for glorifying Him. Jesus did not wait for his final glory before glorifying God, He used his entire life, opportunity given to him to work and glorify God through obedience to the Father. Asking for God’s glorification while working outside his will cannot yield any fruit of glory for us.
As Jesus prayed for Himself and we his disciples in the world, may God the Father through the working of the Holy Ghost protect us from every evil, help us to have intimacy with God and live godly in the midst of worldly conflict.
Fr. Emmanuel Nwokeji.