YEAR A: HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY OF THE 7TH WEEK OF EASTER
HOMILY THEME: THE PRIESTLY PRAYER OF PAUL!
BY: Fr. Ben Agbo
HOMILY: * Act 20 : 28 – 38, Jn 17 : 11 – 19.
It was a very long session of preaching – Paul’s last days at Ephesus. A day before, something memorable happened while Paul was preaching and preaching and it was getting past midnight. A young boy called Eutychus got drowsy – meanwhile he was perching on top of a window sill of a 3 – storey building. Suddenly he fell from there and was lifeless when St Paul came and touched him and his life came back. Paul continued his preaching the next day in another out station still in Ephesus. This was going to be his very last day in that city. So he told them that they would never see his face again. It was such a heart touching prayer session.
He warned the elders ( priests of the time) to make sure they fed the flock ( Church of God) so that fierce wolves will not invade the congregation. He even prophesied that many heretics would break out from among the priests and lay ministers as it is happening today, coming forward with a travesty of the truth just to induce disciples to follow them. He now prayed for them commending them to God and to the Word of His grace – ‘a word that has power to build you up and to give you your inheritance among all the sanctified’. They all broke into tears especially for the fact that it was going to be their last sight of Paul.
In today’s gospel, we have a similar scenario – the Priestly prayer of Jesus which articulates his burden for the Church, present and future. He prays for the Church to be protected from the evil one and consecrated them in the truth. He gave Peter the power of the keys and promised the Church that the powers of hell shall not prevail against it, Matt 16 : 18. Even when he rose from the dead he breathed the first release of the Holy Spirit on them for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Jn 20 : 20 – 23. This is to forestall the future danger of heresies and attack from the bludgeoning arms of secularism. We pray that the grace from this prayer will continue to envelope the Church.
May the Church overseers, elders and priests rise to the occasion of true accountability, detachment and dedicated service.
May they continue to feed the flock of Christ without mundane distractions or any form of travesty of the truth. And may God bless you today!