Homily 12th Sunday of Year C: Fr. Michael U Udoekpo
Readings: Zech 12:10-11;13:1; Ps 63:2,3-4,5-6,8-9; Gal 3:26-29 and Luke 9:18-24
Christ the Fountain of Life
The responsorial psalm of today "My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God,"( Ps 63) sets the tone for today's celebration. It is Christ the Fountain and the Spring of life that we celebrate. Each of us searches and thirsts for this source of life on our Christian pilgrimage, from Baptism. Sometimes this pilgrimage is long and requires perseverance with great endurance.
As one of those who have already been baptized, I was privileged from May 30th through June 18th to lead a Christian pilgrimage from Lisbon in Portugal to France, Spain and Rome. The 21member pilgrims who came from Australia, Nigeria (Africa), the Philippines, India (Asia) and different parts of the United States demonstrated in their prayers, songs, stations of the cross, sacrifices, endurance, active participation at worship, celebration of the sacraments of reconciliation, and Holy Sacrifices of Mass, their longing, and incessant thirst for God, at every point of the holy sites visited, in Fatima, Lourdes, Avilla, Burgos, Santarem, Salamanca, Nerves, Paris, Lisieux, and in the eternal city of Rome.
Prophet Zechariah in the first reading of today indicates not only the long journeys and pilgrimage of the post-exilic house of David, Abraham's descendants, but affirms their assurance of hope, and life, and of course the fulfillment of those promises in 2 Sam chapter 7, for those who persevere to the end; " On that day there shall be open to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, a fountain to purify from sin and uncleanness." (Zech 12).
Christ is this fountain encountered by every global, continental, universal, believing Christian pilgrim on their enduring ways. Some have encountered him in the healing water of Lourdes. Others in the water of baptism which Saint Paul indicates in the Second Reading, Gal 3:26-29: "through faith you are all children of God, in Christ Jesus. For all of you baptized into Christ, have clothed yourselves with Christ...." And others still, in praying to various saints.
Saint Peter was able to rightfully articulate who Christ was in today's Gospel because he had not only journeyed with Christ, leaving his fishing business, but had clothed himself with the message of Christ. He had also drank from that "fountain" that "spring" of life, thirsted for in the entire duration of his discipleship.
For Peter, " the Son of man," is the Christ of God." and the source of life. Any of us who wishes to have life must be ready to take up his or her daily crosses and follow Jesus. We must be ready to drink from this fountain of life, which purifies us from sins, uncleanness, diseases, illnesses, division, fear, faithlessness, hopelessness, lack of charity, courage, fortitude and timidity. It enables us to recognize Christ at all times, in our neighbors, rich and poor, and in every circumstances of life. Christ, the fountain of life!