Friday, April 20, 2012

Homily 3rd Sunday of Easter B: Fr. Michael U. Udoekpo

Homily 3rd Sunday of Easter B: Fr. Michael U. Udoekpo
Readings: Acts 3:13-15, 17-19; Ps 4:2, 4, 7-9; 1 Jn 2:1-5a and Luke 24:35-48

May the light of your face shine upon us, as we place all our hope in you (Ps 4:6).

Today’s responsorial Psalm “let the light of your face shine upon us” sets the tone for today’s worship. We come today, 3rd Sunday of Easter to bear witness, like Peter and his colleagues to the Resurrection of Christ; to ask for our needs. We come so that the metaphorical face and light of the Risen Christ may shine  upon the darkness of our doubts, upon our wounds, upon our illnesses, our sins, upon  our uncertainties, upon the Church upon our families, upon our seminaries, our parishes, dioceses,  religious communities, upon this residence home and of course upon our nations and cultures.

Last Sunday we saw the conversation of Cleopas with his companion as they walk from Jerusalem to Emmaus in Luke’s Gospel (Luke 24:13-35). This conversation indicated the faith struggles of the emergent Christianity and of course fears, sadness and doubts of Christ disciples over the event of the paschal mysteries. Is he gone, the Messiah? What next becomes of our lives? They could not recognize him until the Light of Christ shone upon them at the breaking of the bread.

Today the stories continue. They are worried still. While they were still speaking about the event of Christ- the Lord appeared in their midst with his Peace. Being Jewish he said to them “Shalom~wlv   which meant a lot for them. They understood Christ to mean, “how are you’ “calm down” don’t be confused,” "I am here with and for you,” “it will be okey",  "I will look after your well-being," "keep the faith," hope, love and trust in me,” "prosperity, justice, my kindness, love, wholeness, good health, eternal life hereafter, will always be sufficient unto you.”

Christ meant to say, "I am the same Lord, yesterday, today and forever! Haven’t you seen the holes in my hand where the nails pierced? Don’t be “doubting Thomases” any longer. Okey , let me eat some  baked fish with you." Christ says, Shalom!  He opened their minds. He brings his light of faith to them. He even summarized the Scriptures. He said to them have you forgotten our Scriptures, our Tanak- what we learned in the Torah (Gen–Deut), those covenant promises? What about our knowledge of the Prophets- the prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos and the rest of the Twelve, which have also been expressed in the Writings, in the Psalms of laments, praises and thanksgiving.  Remember they had all spoken about my birth, ministry, death, resurrection and the future mission of the Apostles, Christ reminds them!

This is the faith mission of evangelization spearheaded by Peter in today's 1st reading. He said to the people particularly those who doubted or rejected Christ “ I know  that you  acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did, but God  has thus brought to fulfillment what he had announced beforehand through the mouth of the prophets, that Christ would suffer” died and be raised from the dead ( Acts 3:13-19).

Honestly, our faith journeys from Baptism can always bee seen as an “Emmaus walk” of Cleopas and his companion. It can be seen as that of Peter and the rest of the eleven waiting to see the nails in Jesus’ hands; waiting to eat baked fish with him, waiting to receive that divine Shalom!

And  like these disciples we want to cease every opportunity in our life's' journeys to recognize and feel the presence of God on our sides; Jesus during meals, Jesus at Mass, Jesus as we read the Bible, Jesus as we pay attention to the sermons, Jesus as we live our civil lives as good citizens, Jesus on our sick beds, Jesus in “bad times” and in “good times”, Jesus in the poor and in the rich; Jesus at home, at church, work places and at schools; Jesus in our children, grand children, Jesus in our priests, in our parents- dads and moms and Jesus in our neighbors.
And may the lights of Christ continue to shine upon us as we place all our hope in Him!