Homily (2) 5th Sunday of Easter Year A: Fr. Michael U. UdoekpoReadings: Acts 6:1-7; Ps 33:1-5,18-19; 1 Pet 2::4-9 and John 14:1-12
Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life
Last Sunday we celebrated Christ the Good Shepherd. Today, the Fifth Sunday of Easter, we celebrate Christ, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. A greater understanding of these metaphors or imageries are important as we approach the mysteries of the Ascension and the Pentecost in the coming weeks.
However, we may want to interpret these imageries - of Way, Life and Truth- the choices we make in life, the goals we pursue, how we endure pains and illnesses, how we love and forgive, how generous we are to our neighbors and how faithful we are to Christ and his Church, must be taken into account.
Starting from the early church and with the spread of Christianity there is nothing that we would accomplish in this life without Christ who is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and without the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The gifts of the spirit is important because sometimes the way of Christ, love, forgiveness, patience could be bumpy and challenging!
This is true with the choice of Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicarnor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicholas, the seven deacons in today’s first reading. These men were selected to serve the poor and the needy not because they were vested with worldly politics and secular shrewdness or filled with themselves. Scripture tells us that these men were selected to cater for the temporal goods of the church, because they were filled the Holy Spirit.
In Galatian 5 :22 these fruits of this Holy spirit are listed as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, chastity(Gal 5:22). These are what we also find in Christ who is the Way that we must follow.
Pope Francis in his Evengelii Gaudium spells and captures the importance of these fruits especially as we spread the Gospel to margins, the poor and peoples of all walks of life. It must be done with humility, patience, and joy in spite of uncertainties and challenges associated with following Christ.
As Thomas and Philip would have asked Jesus today for the “Way” and the Knowledge of the “Father” let us pray at this Mass for the grace to recognize that we are a holy nation, a people part to praise and worship God (1 Pet 2:4-9), to love Him and follow His Ways.
And may the mercy of God be upon us (Ps 33:22) so that as we travel the way, the road, be it the high way, the narrow avenues or the bumpy or smooth streets of life, may we always pattern our choices, our opinions and life- style after the examples of Christ who is the ideal Way, the Truth and the Life (Jn 14:1-12)