Homily (Reflection) for Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent (02nd April, 2020) on the Gospel
Ps 104:4-9. (R. v.8);
Topic: Immunize against death.
Jesus told the Jews in today’s gospel, “Very truly, I tell you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.” This statement was a very bitter pill for them. Hence they retorted in part, “Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died, and so did the prophets; yet you say, ‘Whoever keeps my word will never taste death....Who do you claim to be?’”
Just like the Jews, whenever we hear or speak of death, minds normally go to the end of this physical life which is certain, cf. Gen 3:19. Hardly do we think beyond this present life. Trying to save this present life is like pursuing the wind, cf. Matt 16:25; Mk 8:35; Lk 9:24. It must come. One may escape COVID-19 among other infirmities but never physical death.
Jesus said to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live” (Jn 11:25). We also read,
Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life ....those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment (Jn 5:24,29).
This word is the word of the truth, (cf. Col 1:5; Jn 14:6) and the word of life, cf. (1Jn 1:1; Phil 2:16). Those who disobey this word stumble, cf. 1Pt 2:8. One can remain Jesus’ disciple by remaining faithful to His word, cf. Jn 8:31. And those who do not keep Jesus’ word are those who hate Him, cf. Jn 14:24. So, whoever wants to live must keep Jesus’ word. Imagine all we do today (staying at home, avoiding contacts, wearing masks, washing of hand with soap and flowing water, using hand sanitizer, and so on) just to escape COVID-19. And ask, what do we do to escape eternal death which is avoidable?
Bible Reading: Jn 5:19-29; Dan 12:1-13.
Thought for today: Keeping the word of life, cf. 1Jn 1:1.
Let us pray: Lord, we need your grace to enable us keep your word for without you we can do nothing – Amen (cf. Jn 15:5).
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