Homily  5th Sunday of Easter Year C: Fr. Michael Ufok Udoekpo· Acts 14:21-27;
· Ps 145:8-13;
· Rev 21:1-5a
· John 13:31-33a, 34-35
Christ, the New Door of faith, hope, mercy and love
When we build new homes or houses we open new doors through which we walk into our rooms. Coming into the church/chapel on this 5th Sunday of Easter we walked or came in through those doors. Our Christian journeys (especially in this Year of Mercy), as priests, religious, lay men and women requires that we walk through the new doors of Christ with faith, new zeal, hope, mercy and love, emphasized in today’s Bible Lessons.
In the older dispensation the chosen people had different ways of relating with God expressed not only in the 10 commandments but also in in their holiness code. But in Christ, the New Moses, this has been summarized in the new commandments of love and service exemplified throughout his mission of healing signs, forgiveness, provision of food for thousands of hungry people, reaching to people of all walks of life (the Samaritan woman), prisoners, sinners, raising the death like Lazarus, and in washing the feet of his disciples (John 13).
Even to the sufferings, the dying and the oppressed of today’s 2nd reading (Rev 21:1-5a), he assures them the same love. He assures then new heavens and hopes. Christ will “wipe every tear from their eyes and there shall be no more death, or mourning, wailing of pain, for the old order has passed away.”
Paul and Barnabas realized this- that Christ is the new order and door of faith, hope, love, and mercy, throughout their missionary journeys. No wonder in in today’s 1st reading (Acts 14:21-27) Barnabas and Paul allow God to use them to open new doors of faith to the Gentiles.
It is true that we live in a challenging time of materialism, terrorism, acts of revenge and war mongering. Yet the readings of today impress on us to seek new ways of reconciliation, cherishing forgiveness, mercy, hope, service, love of ones’ neighbors, especially the poor and voiceless, through the examples of Christ. Like Paul and Barnabas we are also called or challenged today to seek new ways of inviting our brothers and sisters to embrace or persevere in their received faith in Christ. Together we are to walk through that door of renewed faith, new commandment love, hope and mercy, especially in this Year of Mercy.