YEAR A: HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF 5TH WEEK OF EASTER
HOMILY THEME: PEACE, A SINE-QUA-NON
BY: Rev. Fr. Jacob Aondover ATSU
HOMILY: READINGS: ACTS 14:19-28, PSALM 145, JOHN 14:27-31
‘Shalom’, the word used for peace in the bible is to mean more than the absence of trouble. It means everything which makes for our highest good. The world offers us only the peace of escape, the peace which comes from avoidance of trouble and refusing to face things. The peace advanced by Christ is that of conquest: no experience in life can ever take it away from us, no sorrow, no danger, no suffering can ever lessen it. This peace is independent of external circumstances.
This for sure is the kind of peace that Paul had in his soul. The external reality of him being nearly killed through stoning by the incited people of Lystra did not make him afraid. His heart was not distressed or stricken by fear because he was sure that the prince of this world had no hold on his master and so, had no hold on him too. Therefore, he went back into the city where he was stoned and wouldn’t stop proclaiming the word of God.
What is our understanding of peace, how do we conceive it? Are we really at peace with ourselves and our society? Living in a nation where terrorist activities have gained prominence; a nation where the agents of security always battle with terrorist sects for only God knows how long, can we say we at peace? Could the parent whose child is abducted and not saved for three years (and counting) ever be at peace? What about the helpless villagers and farmers who are persistently attacked by the bloodthirsty insurgents; can they ever be at peace? We may never forget the many broken homes, the warring tribes, disagreeing associations and firms, etc. how can the people involved ever live in peace?
Man can only be at peace in this world of peril, failures, unfulfilled desires, pains and so on, if Christ is involved in his life. Man’s heart can only be free from distress if he acknowledges God’s words: “…Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine…” (Isa. 43:1ff). Indeed our hearts can only be at peace when we allow Christ into our lives. Then: he’d give us the patience to bear pain and the eyes to see the positive side of it. He’ll lighten our burdens and smoothen our paths on this life’s journey. Of course, our hearts can only be at peace when we realize like St. Augustine did that; ‘God made us for himself and our hearts are restless until they rest in him’.
FEED ONE POOR