Homily (Reflection) for Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year C (24th April, 2016) on the Gospel

Acts 14:21-27;
Ps 144:8-13. (R. cf. v. 1);
Rev 21:1-5;
Jn 13:31-35.

One man bought a phone and a line for his illiterate mother in the village. And not quite long, one mobile communication company decided to reward their customers with some incentives (bonuses). When the woman heard about this development she joyfully waited patiently for bonus however nothing came. As her patience began to fail, she visited the office of the mobile company that was giving bonus nearest to her to know the reason why she didn’t receive any bonus whereas some received a good number of times.

The customer care unit listened to her story patiently and felt sorry for her. In their resolution to get to the root of the matter, they collected the phone from her because she could not produce her mobile number. Behold, the woman who was running out of patience waiting for bonus from their company was subscribed to another company.

Topic: Glorify your preferred master.

In today’s gospel, when Judas had gone out Jesus said to His disciples, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.” He would not stay with them much longer. Finally, He gave them a new commandment to love one another just as He loved them. And this is the mark of discipleship.

The glorification of the Son as we see in today’s gospel is conditional: If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself. And glorifying God is all about accepting His will in everything, cf. Lk 22:42. Remember that Jesus said these when Judas had left to finalize matters with the chief priests on the modalities of betraying Jesus. Therefore, glorifying the Father would be ultimately accomplished in His shameful death on the cross. Again, when Jesus prophesied on the kind of death Peter would die, the bible tells us that Peter was to glorify God by that kind of death, cf. Jn 21:19a. And in Saint Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he highlighted two other forms; “glorify God by your obedience in acknowledging the gospel of Christ, and by the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others” (2Cor 9:13). For Saint Peter, we are to glorify God in our sufferings, cf. 1Pt 4:16. And again, Saint Paul correctly admonishes us, “you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1Cor 6:20).

Borrowing from Saint Paul’s second letter to his son, this is a saying we can rely on:
 If we have died with him, then we shall live with him.
If we persevere, then we shall reign with him.
If we disown him, then he will disown us.
If we are faithless, he is faithful still,
for he cannot disown his own self (2Tim 2:11-13).

That illiterate woman in our introductory story did not get any bonus from that network because she subscribed to another network. Whoever wants to be glorified by God must first glorify Him here on earth. And God has glorified us by letting us be called His sons and He will glorify us again if we persevere as His children, cf. Jn 12:28; 1Jn 3:1-2.

Bible Reading: 2Tim 4:1-8; Rom 6:1-14; 1Pt 4:12-19.

Thought for today: God rewards His children.

Let us pray: Lord, help us to be worthy of your glory by glorifying you here on earth – Amen.

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