YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
HOMILY THEME: WHAT THE LOCUST HAS EATEN
BY: Fr. Christian Eze
First reading – Acts 1: 15-17. 20-26
Second reading – 1 Jn 4:11-26
Gospel – Jn. 17:11-19
Jesus was so concern with not losing any of those that the Father entrusted to Him. Yet He did lose one. In today’s gospel, He declares: “I kept those you had given me true to your name. I have watched over them and not one was lost except the one who chose to” – Jn 17:12. A popular opinion is that this lost one must have been Judas Iscariot who was among the Twelve Apostles Jesus chose. It gives sense therefore to the event of today’s first reading where the Apostles where eager for a replacement of what has been lost. No matter how a bad Apostle Judas must have been, we must acknowledge the fact that it is never a happy thing for anyone to lose a good he once possessed.
In line with the above, all of the twelve disciples (including Judas) whom Jesus chose were men made wonderfully and loaded with blessings. Along the line, however, one of them, Judas, dropped off creating a lacuna. I do not want to look at Judas as an individual. Rather, I want to look at the effects on the body of the Apostles. In that body, a blessing was lacking, a part of the shining whole became darkened; something once complete was eaten off somewhere. Hence, we can understand the plight of which Peter cried that must be completed. With the election of Matthias, in today’s first reading, their joy became complete. They were restored to a whole. Imagine how happy they were at this restoration and completeness.
Just look at us, God created us for the purposes which Jesus tells us in Jn 15:16 “I chose you…to bear fruits” –. Bitter enough, like the body of the apostles, the locust may have eaten much of this fruits. Some of us have lost many things in the past. Such things we would remember and feel very bad today. Some have lost their close relations and loved ones. Some have lost their job. Some lost their peace of mind. Some lost property. Come on! The good news, my message today is that through the mouth of His prophet, Joel, God says: “I will make up to you for the years devoured by grown locust… You will eat to your heart’s content; will eat your fill… My people will not be disappointed any more” – Joel 2:25-27. God restored the joy and blessings of the Apostles that has been eaten up by locust. Ours too could be restored and made complete again. In Jer 31:15, “A voice is heard in Ramah, lamenting and weeping bitterly; it is Rachael weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted for her children because they are no more. Yahweh says this: Stop weeping dry your eyes, your hardship will be redressed; they shall come back from the enemy country” I don’t care what was eaten up, I don’t even care whose faults it was that they were eaten up. It could even be your own faults, but what I say is that God is capable of turning even our mistakes to miracles. I know too you may ask me if God is going to bring back your dead ones for you. My answer is that God did not bring back Judas and transform him for the Apostles. But He gave them Matthias to make them twelve and complete once again. And do you think the twelve calendar months that make up one year is a mere coincidence? What did you lose last year or beyond in any of the twelve months – Jan, Feb, March, April, May, June, July, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, or Dec? Trust God! Your Matthias is coming; and the latter glory of your house, shall surpass that of the old – Haggai 2:9 An Igbo song came into me:
Amara m na I ga eme….na I ga eme ka obi di m mma (x2) – I know you will make me happy once again.