YEAR C: HOMILY/REFLECTION FOR THE 5TH SUNDAY OF EASTER
THEME: SO MUCH TEARS IN OUR WORLD
BY: Fr. Christian Eze
First reading – Acts 14:21-27
Second reading – Rev 21:1-5
Gospel – Jn 13:31-35
I am attracted today by the words of the second reading (Rev. 21:4). It reminds me of a consoling and hope raising promise in the prophecy of Isaiah: “On this mountain he will remove the “mourning veil covering all people”…Yahweh will wipe away the “tears from every cheek” (Is. 25:7-8). Those underlined words – all people, every cheek interests me much. There cannot be anyone upon whom the mourning veil has never been laid. There cannot be any cheek that has never known tears; if not at all, we were all born crying. In this world of tears, the richest man, the strongest man, the most intelligent person, the most beautiful woman; there is none that has never known grief and tears in life. I stand to be proven wrong, but I wish to say that there are much tears today calling to be wiped away.
In this world of tears, no one is best fit to wipe away tears except Jesus who possesses both human and divine nature. To save us, Jesus came; he took human nature and experienced all that we pass through except sin. He was hungry – Matt. 4:4, He was thirsty – Jn.4:7, He was enraged – Jn. 2:13-16, and he cried (Jn. 11:35) amidst other things. Little wonder then, in today’s gospel, Jesus felt the grief in the apostles after he had told them that a little while they would not see Him. He chose to leave the medicine that would constantly heal the grief of humanity. This medicine is a medicine of LOVE. “I give you a new commandment, love one another” – Jn 13. St John tells us that God is love. The same gospel tells us that Christ is God. Our simple logic here gets it right to say that Jesus is Love. See how he manifested His love. We see Jesus’ compassion on the sick, the lame, the crippled, the blind, and even the hungry. He wiped away tears from their eyes.
I read a story where someone was asking if religion has not done us more harm than good, and another was quoting and affirming Karl Marx’s theory that religion is the opium of the people. This may sound fine. But I wish to say that the world’s mysteries can never be totally unraveled by man and science. As such, we would be in perpetual tears and heading for a suicide mission if we fail to acknowledge the presence of an all Powerful, Merciful and Caring but a Just God who revealed himself to us in His Son Jesus Christ. True religion, therefore, is that which shows compassion on human suffering, that which wipes away tears instead of inflicting more tears. Only Jesus came to do that. He did it in love and by loving. He now gives it to us as the solution to the world’s problems. Let us apply it as the medicine that would heal human pains.