Homily 6th Sunday of Easter Year C: Fr. Michael U. Udoekpo
Readings: Acts 15:1-2, 22-29; Rev 21:10-14, 22-23 and John 14:23-29
The presence of Christ through the Holy Spirit
Easter Cycle is winding down as we approach the Ascension and the Pentecost. With this, today’s readings reminds us of the ever presence of Christ in our midst, through the Holy Spirit. This Spirit brings us reconciliation, unity, joy, love of God and peace.
The first reading from the Acts of the Apostles paints a picture of disputes and misunderstanding between Paul’s community and the Jerusalem Community concerning the OT practice of circumcision and practice of mosaic laws. This dispute, we notice was not resolved with weapons and military might, nor with protracted court litigation, but with mutual dialogue between the two parties. This is an excellent example for how Christians, especially in a volatile world of today, should resolve conflicts: with prayer for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and through mutual respect, dialogue of peace and love.
This love is the way of Christ. And Christ minces no words in today’s gospel when he says to his disciples, whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.” Whoever imitates Christ and follows his teachings have Christ constantly dwelling and living with him or her in Spirit.
The Spirit of Christ radiates joy in place of sadness. It promotes reconciliation instead of revenge. It brings us peace (shālôm), growth and prosperity, instead of decay, war, violence and terrorism. And when Christ says in the gospel, “ Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you,” as a Jew, he meant to say, he wishes us everything that is good in this life: success in the works of our hand, our well -being, unity, good health, long life, and many other blessings that only God can give.
As Christians, when we receive these blessings, we are obliged to reach out and to share these blessings of joy, reconciliation, respect for all, dialogue of love and peace with the society of our neighbors, lit by the light of the glory of God (Rev 21:10-14, 22-23), and of the Holy Spirit.