HOMILY – FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
“I AM THE WAY AND THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE”.
My Sisters and Brothers in the Lord,
Wishing you all Happy Mother’s day & 100th year Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima.
Today’s readings tell us how the early Church accepted the challenge of keeping Jesus’ memory alive by remaining a dynamic Christian community, bearing witness to Christ by their unity, fidelity in worship and spirit of loving and humble service. Today’s Gospel introduces Jesus as the Way to God, the Truth to be accepted and the Life to be shared and lived.
Today our country takes out a day to honor moms, a most fitting thing to be able to do as these are the incredible women that God has chosen for each one of us to give us life. A mother’s task, as we all know, is to conceive, to bear, to nourish, and to educate her children. It is the single most important and dignified task on the natural level in this world. What God has entrusted to a mother is nothing less than the souls of the children that He has given to her. With a mother’s care and with a mother’s heart she carries her children with her, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It does not matter how old she is, it does not matter how old they are, she never ceases being a mother. Even when you see mothers who are in their nineties and their children are in their seventies, it is pretty clear that this is still mother and child. And that mother continues to be a mother not only in this life but in the next as well. Which is why, of course, we pray for our mothers who are deceased, but also to know that if our mothers have gone the right direction after death, they continue to pray for us.. They love us more perfectly, which is an astounding thought when we consider the love of a mother.
The first reading today, from the Acts of the Apostles, begins to show us that even in the earliest Christian communities, there were problems and conflicts. These early followers tried to solve problems by dialog and taking counsel—and most of the time it seems to have worked, but not always. We humans find conflict almost more natural than living in harmony! Every Christian community will have conflicts and differences and challenges. There is no easy way to deal with them. Yet we must deal with them or we break apart as a community. One of the great gifts in our Catholic Church is that we believe that there is an authority structure in the Church and that individuals and individual congregations or individual Churches cannot solve problems alone. We must work together.
The second reading is from the First Letter of Saint Peter. Today’s passage reminds us that we shall inevitable stumble if we do not base our lives on the Word of God. Today so many of us want to base our lives simply on our own personal insights and ways of thinking and our own personal experiences. Surely our insights, ways of thinking and personal experiences are important—but they must always be judged by the Word of God and looked in in the light of that Word. We humans are mysteries in progress, not simply realities that can no longer change. Life is about living this mystery of God’s love for us and responding to His Word. That Word will change us and transform us. If we do not heed the Word, we stumble and fall. This brings us back to the Gospel and to the knowledge that Jesus truly gives Himself to us and invites us to live in that personal self-giving. Once we acknowledge Jesus as Lord, our lives begin to change. We may fail over and over and over—but always we get up and keep on going because the Lord is with us and invites us to keep walking with Him.
Besides a call to penance Fatima is in a special way a call for the Rosary. So central is the Rosary to the Fatima message that Our Lady chose to identify herself as “The Lady of the Rosary.” In each of the six apparitions she asked for the daily Rosary, and especially as an instrument of world peace. As she revealed in the third apparition: “You must recite the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war for only she can obtain this.” In this Our Lady renewed her request for the prayer she gave to the Church centuries before, a prayer that has proven a powerful weapon against the enemies of Christianity as history testifies.
May God Bless you,