YEAR A: HOMILY FOR THURSDAY OF THE 5TH WEEK OF EASTER
HOMILY THEME: I chose you to bear fruit that would abide forever.
BY: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
HOMILY: READINGS: Acts 1: 15-17, 20-26, Ps. 113: 1-8, John 15: 9-17
Every human being has a destination and will of God for him or her. We come to this world at God’s command and will and he has the plan of what he wants each person to be. He institutes everybody where he should be and it is left for us to protect and preserve our position and vocation. Our mistake can cause us a lot that is irredeemable. St Augustine was right when he said that the God who created us without our cooperation cannot save us without our cooperation. We all have a part to play in the preservation and realization of our destiny; we can as well destroy it by our choice of thought and action or by blatant ignorance and poor discernment. God in this case is not to be blamed. Some people are born to play the dirty game of life for others to succeed. It becomes a blessing if the hand of God is in it but a curse if we do it against God’s will and purpose for us like in the case of Judas. It may be said that he had that vocation to help Jesus realize his mission to die for humanity but followed it wrongly without repentance and good will to return back and preserve his position but allowed the devil to alter it and lead him to self destruction. This qualified him to be the one that Jesus called the son of perdition.
Beloved, the celebration of the feast of St Matthias as an apostle cannot be full without a mention of the person who created the vacancy and paved way for his inclusion into the college of the Apostles: this is Judas Iscariot. He was chosen to bear a fruit that should last but did not cooperate with God to realize it. His mistake created chance for another to actualize and realize his vocation. Matthias can be called in the human interpretation as apostle by chance; an apostle by the devil’s provision of opportunity through Judas’ mistake. Could it be really providence? Yes when seen from the point of Divine vocation into the College of Apostles as proved by the means of his inclusion. Matthias was already a believer and follower of the apostolic tradition and Jesus’ teachings. He qualified in some designed criteria by the apostles: He accompanied the apostles through all the time the Lord worked with them. He followed from the time of Johannine baptism till the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ Jesus. He contested this position with Joseph Barsabbas surnamed Justus. He has a spiritual edge over Joseph and the apostles allowed God to do the choosing. The apostolic invocation of God’s Spirit saw him a choice by lot-casting: “Lord who knows the heart of all men, show which one of these two you have chosen…” It is important to comment that what is in us and what we believe and our capabilities are known by God and they decide our qualification or rejection by God. Many may in human eyes qualify like Joseph Barsabbas but are not the choice of God in actuality as in the case of the sons of Jesse. If human element may choose someone who is not God’s choice he would be at the wrong place. The election of Matthias as a later apostle teaches the Church as a divine institution to watch how she elects servants into leadership in the Church. It challenges the Church about human ways: tribal, sectional and ethnic politicking in the Church. Many by this method have been put in another’s office and wrongly perform the duty of another. In such case it becomes square poles in a round hole; so unfortunate. It challenges contestants of office in the Church who go by do or die attitude and I must win syndrome, make promises if they are voted and compensate those who aided them later. Watch yourselves. Those who dangerously campaign and destroy the images of others to win Church positions should better be careful. Some even eliminate others to win.
Beloved, Matthias loved God and kept his commandments and abided in God’s love and so was the right choice of God. As we are in the season of praying for the descent of the Holy Spirit, we must know that the Holy Spirit is the love glue between Jesus and the Father and sows seeds of love and unity in humanity. We must then embrace him to give us this grace of genuine love for God and his Church so as to respect the divine institution called the Church in all her activities and election processes. By keeping the commandments of God we become his friends who know all about him. He has chosen us to be his friends so that our joy may be complete and then we shall bear fruits that would last forever.
We pray that we may remain in God love so as to receive everything we ask for in prayer and have complete joy while on earth. May the grace of God prepare us to be qualified as God’s choice to serve him and his Church and that we may bear lasting fruit in him, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf