Homily of the 7th Sunday of Easter B, 13th May 2018
Consecrated to love and unity
This time between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost Sunday is kind of a mini-Advent for the Church, it is a time of waiting for God the Holy Spirit to come to us in a more powerful way. It is a time we must consecrate ourselves to the truth and to the love of our brothers and sisters. It is a time of intense prayer and waiting for the Holy Spirit to be born in a deeper way in our hearts…. Christ is seen today therefore at prayer.
Our Gospel today presents us with the priestly prayer of Jesus. The passage presented ends with Jesus praying for the consecration of his disciples (Jn 17:19): Consecrate them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world, and for their sake I consecrate myself so that they too may be consecrated in truth.’ Consecration is the rite by which a person or a thing is made to belong completely to God. Mathias today in the First reading who was witness to the resurrection was chosen to take over the ministry and the apostolate which Judas abandoned. He was made to belong completely to God by his being officially listed as one of the twelve apostles. Through our Baptism, we belong completely to God, we are terribly consecrated. We must show this consecration through the love and unity we portray towards our brothers and sisters.
In the second reading of today, John invites us to love. John puts emphasis on the inseparability of love of God and love of neighbour: For us Christians, love is q debt. We are condemned to love for several reasons. God so much loved us until he gave us his son to die for our salvation. God’s love remains the model and reason for us to love abundantly too. To love God first and then our neighbour. God is called love and when we love he dwells in us just as Christ and the Father dwell in one another in a communion of love. Love is the substance of this new brotherhood that emerged from the teaching and life of Christ. In these last days of his on earth, Jesus seems to suspect that after him his disciples will be divided and therefore he requests the father to keep them united and faithful to his name. It is the love of one another that forms the cement of this unity.
Jesus, who this past Thursday Ascended into Heaven, is coming soon back to us. On Pentecost Sunday He will come into the hearts of the disciples in the Upper Room, bringing them “His reward”, the Holy Spirit, with Him. The Spirit will consecrate us to Love God and to Love our neighbours. The Spirit will fill us with gifts that will enable us to live always united.
Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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