YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
HOMILY THEME: I COMMAND YOU TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU.
BY: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
READINGS: Acts 10: 25-26, 34-35, 44-48, Ps.98, 1Jn. 4: 7-10, Jn. 15: 9-17
Two weeks ago was Good Shepherd Sunday and last Sunday was True Vine Sunday, today can be called Love Sunday. Even though love is the central teaching of Christianity and the reason for Incarnation, suffering and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, the readings today stressed much on Love; the type of love God has for us and has given it to us as a command to do the same for others. This love is the only panacea for the world problems and joy of humanity.
Love is the word that has the highest frequency in the language of humanity each day. Everybody speaks, expects and desires it. The deaf, the dumb, the invalid, the morons and even imbeciles know of it and express it; it is not a speech or word that has to be spoken but a way of life that can be expressed even by body language, through looks and gestures. Every living creature understands it and likes it, even animals cherish it and practice it, it is a nature of creature not to be learnt but to be put into practice. Everybody expects it from the other; yet it is the most abused and wrongly exercised. When you watch humans behave to each other you would not be wrong to doubt if love is the nature of man and if man created in the image and likeness of a loving God inherited it from God.
Beloved in Christ, St John the apostle of love admonished us to love one another for Love is of God for God is love. Let us reflect over the submission of John: He who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God. Every human being would claim to be born of God and created by God and as such inherited the image and likeness of God. But when you examine human acts towards one another, our speech and thoughts about others, it becomes obvious that many of us are not born of God and can be argued not to possess the image and likeness of God but of the devil the father of wickedness and hatred. Where does these acts that spite love in us come from?
Surely it is not from God. Every Christian claims to know God and can speak beautifully about God. We all answer the name Christians meaning those who are like Christ; this is a faking of identity and a spiritual impersonation. Love is a commandment and not optional, it is a debt we owe each other and must be paid if not we shall pay for it in hell fire. Jesus said he has kept his Father’s commandment of love and remained in his Love. The Jesus we claim to be like is love himself and replica of love in union with his Father and the Holy Spirit. Love is a binding force and source of unity between him and the other persons of the Holy Trinity. So where do we belong and how can we make such fictitious claim that we are Christians? Can there be a Christian truly who has no love? It’s impossible.
Beloved, the love of God is seen on the cross where Jesus is made the expiation for our sins and the second reading made it clear. The early disciples and apostles practiced that love they did not discriminate not show any partiality about love towards others. Yes, Peter in the first reading made it clear that God shows no partiality but in every nation, anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
They showed this impartial love to the Gentiles and made them receive the Holy Spirit as the Jews did. Beloved, Jesus said that only our acts of genuine and total love for all would make his joy be in us and then we shall be complete. His love made him call us friends instead of servants that we are; he revealed everything to us even the secret of heaven as he is teaching us today about love. Beloved, obey this command of love and you would be one with God. You came to the world to bear a lasting fruit which can only be possible in love. This is why he chose us and appointed us to this world. This is his salvation made known to us and his deliverance to the nations. May the love of God in us show itself in the love we give to one another, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf