Saturday, May 13, 2017

Homily Fifth Sunday of Easter Year A: Fr. Michael Ufok Udoekpo

Homily Fifth Sunday of Easter Year A: Fr. Michael Ufok Udoekpo
·         Acts 6:1-7;
·          Ps 33:1-5,18-19;
·         1 Pet 2::4-9
·         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, a Mother’s Day in some parts of the world (USA), we celebrate Christ, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. We celebrate Christ who loves us as a good mother would love her child.  A greater understanding of these metaphors or imageries of the way, truth, life and motherhood, are important as we approach the mysteries of the Ascension and the Pentecost in the coming weeks of our liturgical celebrations! 

However, we may want to interpret  or exegete these imageries of the way, life, truth and motherhood, for our various audiences, and against the backdrop of the choices we make in life, the goals we pursue, the pains and illnesses we endure, those we forgive and love, how generous we are to our neighbors and faithful to our baptismal promises, to Christ and the teachings of his Church, ..openness to the Holy Spirit must be taken into account.
One of the criteria for the choice of the seven deacons (Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicarnor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicholas) to serve the poor in today’s 1st reading, is one who possess the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, which we all receive at baptisms. The 7 deacons must also be men of integrity with good reputation. They must be seen as a “holy nation”  and a "chosen race," of today's  2nd reading, as well, 1 Peter 2:4-9. These 7 deacons  allowed themselves to be called, to be chosen! They did not chose themselves but were at the disposition of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

These 7 deacons needed this spirit of God for greater and better service of the poor and temporal goods of the Church. So also ourselves in whatever we do, in and outside the church, in our families, in our places of work, civil and ecclesiastical, we must let the spirit of Christ lead the Way. We must allow Christ to call us, to choose us, and to lead us, by how we daily live our baptismal promises, and civil duties, with total abandonment and humility!
No wonder Christ re-emphasizes this in his last supper, to his disciples, in today’s Gospel (John 14:1-12). In this last discourse, before he went to the Cross Christ indirectly reminds us, his present day disciples, that he is the way, the truth, the life in all that we do. Even in our daily challenges, and family relationship, and importantly, as we celebrate mother’s day today.

On this day, let the role Christ in our lives, in the church, with the poor, with the orphan, with the needy, with the oppressed, with women, male, adult and children, narrated in gospel passages, remind us of the roles of our mothers and women, in scriptures, in the society, in our cultures, in our families, in the Church—and the love we owe them as well!
Few days ago one of the basketball star Kevin Duran, while receiving NBA award speaks positively and highly of his mother who sacrificed so much to raise him and his brother as a single parent. Every night the mom would go to bed hungry but made sure that he and his brother ate. They were poor, moving from one unfurnished apartment to another. In the midst of this poverty, their mom was always there for them.  This is who good moms.

They lead the way for their kids and care for them. They are like Mary Magdalene. They bear witness to the resurrection, no matter how early the hour of the morning, of the first day of the week. They are like our Mother Mary. They care for their spouses and children,  and constantly trust in the voice of the Angel Gabriel! They are like mother Teresa. They reach out to the poor. They are compassionate, sensitive, hardworking, caring, loving, listening, trusting, merciful, generous, patience, kind, selfless, diligent, believing and opening to the Holy Spirit, like the 7 deacons of the 1st reading.
 On this Mother’s Day, may we resolve, may we always allow the Holy Spirit to lead us in appreciating our mothers, in our motherhood, in our service to the poor, in all that we do, to Christ, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life!

 Reflection Question:
1.    In our life’s challenges, motherhood, family relationships, how often do we remember that Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life and encourage our friends and members of families and faith community to do the same?

2.    In our life’s choices, are we filled with faith and opened to the Holy Spirit, and encourage our friends and family and community members to do the same?

3.    Which of the fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, chastity (Gal 5:22), is your delight?