Daily Reflection: 10/5/20

To nurture a vibrant, progressive and spirit-filled parish family, committed to the call of the Gospel.

5th Sunday of Easter – Yr A

Homily Reflection by Fr. JJ Fenelon

For today’s Gospel reading click the link below:
Mass Readings

(Acts 6:1-7, 1 Peter 2:4-9, John 14:1-12)

“I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one can go to the Father except through me”
and to Philip “If you have seen
me you have seen the Father.”

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Most of us manage our lives day in and day out without being bothered by the
question of life itself. It can take all of our time and energy merely to cope with
what the day brings, and we are happy to leave such questions of life behind.
However, there are times when we are forced to pause because something
happens that throws our routine into question. This current Circuit Breaker
caused by the pandemic has left us with a huge sense of loss. Even people in
their 80s and 90s are saying they have never experienced anything like this
before.


 “Never have I seen such a mess in life.”
 “The air is pure but wearing a mask is mandatory.”
 “The roads are empty but it is impossible to go on a long drive.”
 “People have clean hands but there is a ban on shaking hands.”
 “Friends have time to sit together but they cannot get together.”
 “The cook inside you is crazy, but you cannot call anyone to lunch or
dinner.”
 “Every Monday, the heart longs for the office but the weekend does not
seem to end.”
 “Those who have money have no way to spend it.”
 “Those who don’t have money have no way to earn it.”
 “There is enough time on hand but you cannot fulfill your dreams.”
 “The culprit is all around but cannot be seen.”
 “If someone leaves this world, he cannot be with loved ones.”


Things that we took for granted now look different from before and what was
thought to be important now looks insignificant.
Most of us are working from home and that in itself is a big challenge. A home
environment and an office environment are totally different. The challenges can
be enormous.


A single mother with 3 small children (ages 9-13) just wrote to me and asked for
counselling help. Her children constantly seek her attention even though she has
a helper. This is just because she’s home. They don’t understand the situation.
She feels so helpless and lost. She finds it extremely challenging to focus on her
job. Tremendous mental stress is vividly present in her life. In her wildest dreams
she could not have imagined anything like this. An experience like this makes us
question our whole direction in life.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus says to Thomas, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life,
no one can go to the Father except through me” and to Philip “If you have seen
me you have seen the Father.”
Unfortunately, many of us do not have Christ at the centre of our lives to realise
this. He’s not our 1 st priority. We are so focussed on our life here on earth. We
spend a lot of time creating our dream world for this life. We can lead very selfish
lives and ignore those in need.

The 2nd reading from the 1st Letter of Peter reminds us that we shall inevitably
stumble if we do not base our lives on the Word of God. He reminds us of who we truly are: 

“A chosen race, a royal priesthood, a
consecrated nation, a people set apart to sing the praises of God…”
 

He highlights our participation in the priesthood of Christ through the “common
priesthood.” This is certainly by virtue of our baptism (CCC1268). Baptism
configures us to become “priests.” A priest is one who offers sacrifice. Jesus our
Chief High Priest, offered His life so that we might live.
He reminds us of our priestly and royal heritage. In other words, if we set
ourselves close to Christ, we shall live our lives in sacrifice. That is, by offering
acceptable sacrifices to God. Today so many of us want to base our lives simply
on our own personal insights, our learning, our ways of thinking and our own
personal experiences.  There is nothing wrong with that but these must always
be judged by the Word of God and looked in the light of that Word.  That Word
will change us and transform us.

In today’s 1st reading, we see how the early Church, growing very fast, found it
difficult to cope with the speed of development. It often clashed with the need to
maintain the purity of vision. Jesus shared himself to unite the world to his
Father. As the early Church community expanded, responsibilities had to be
shared. The drama that unfolded led to the election of seven deacons to take
care of the social needs and practical concerns of pastoral care of the believers,
while the Apostles dedicated themselves to prayer and to the service of the
Word.

This reminds us of two important dimensions of Christian life: prayer and service;
and that living our Christian vocation requires a balance between the two. Each
of us is personally called to prayer, to a dialogue of worship with God; and we are
also called to service. No matter what we do in life, our lives affect others in
some way.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus assures His disciples and us of a place in his
kingdom: “Let not your hearts be troubled…there are many rooms in my
father’s house…so that where I am you may be too.”
How can we give this
assurance of Jesus to those who are struggling in life?

Our focus in life cannot be “I” but “We”. There are many people around us, young
and old who are troubled. When Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the
Life” He was showing the way to the Father is always we and us by His own life
example. Not I and me.