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Homily (Reflection) for Fifth Sunday of Easter, (A) (14th May, 2017) on the Gospel

Acts 6:1-7;
Ps. 32:1-2.4-5.18-19 (R. v. 22);
1Pt 2:4-9;
Jn 14:1-12.

During my secondary school days just as we still have today in our schools, some of the students did not believe that education is of any use. They often support their view with list of people who without going beyond Basic 6 made it in life especially in the business world on one hand and on the other hand list of graduates who still depend on others for their daily bread. For such students, there is little or no reason why one should strain him/herself going to classes, doing assignments, reading, and so on because.
Topic: There Is Life after Death.
Jesus tells us in today’s gospel pericope:
In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also (Jn 14:2-3).
Christ has gone to prepare dwelling places for us. However, Jesus is also telling us in the gospel according to Saint Matthew: “Everyone ... who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven” (Matt 10:32-33). Similarly, in the Book of Revelation we read: “He who conquers shall be clad thus in white garments, and I will not blot his name out of the book of life; I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels” (Rev 3:5). Again Saint John wrote: “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their works, as recorded in the books” (Rev. 20:12). Hence, the Psalmist rightly noted that those who fear the LORD and walk according to his law are blessed, cf. Ps 128:4; 119:1. Nothing unclean shall enter the kingdom of God, cf. Rev 21:27.
Just as some students do not see any reason why they should go to school, many do not see why they should do good. Prophet Malachi beautifully captured it thus:
You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God. What do we profit by keeping his command or by going about as mourners before the LORD of hosts? Now we count the arrogant happy; evildoers not only prosper, but when they put God to the test they escape (Mal 3:14-15).
Do not be discouraged. The Book Revelation reads, “And I heard a voice from heaven saying, ‘Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord henceforth.’ ‘Blessed indeed,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labours, for their deeds follow them!’” (Rev 14:13).
Jesus tells us, “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account” (Matt 5:11). Saint James also wrote, “Blessed is anyone who endures temptation. Such a one has stood the test and will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him” (Jas 1:12). Dear ones in the Lord, we are bound to have trials while here on earth. Let us not be discouraged. We ought to live lives worthy of the eternal happiness in the world to come which Jesus has gone to prepare for all who will be ready, cf. Lk 18:8. Remember, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1Cor 2:9).
Bible Reading: Matt 10:26-33; Lk 12:41-48; Rev 2:1-5; 3:1-6; 20:11-15; Mal 3:13-18.
Thought for today: Do you remember that there is life after death?
Let us pray: God our Father, give us the grace to live lives that will earn for us eternal dwelling – Amen.

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