Homilies | Father Nathan

St Gabriel Catholic Church | Pompano Beach
God Bless You All

Father Nathan Homily | May 10, 2020

Father Nathan | Homily

 

5th Sunday of Easter

Today’s Readings:

First Reading — ACTS 6:1-7

Responsorial Psalm — PS 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19

Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.

Second Reading — 1 Peter 2:4-9

Gospel Reading — John 14:1-12

 

“if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith”

–1 Cord 15:14.

 

Easter always brings me an immense sense of joy as it bestows joy of Christmas. The reason why I love Easter is as St. Paul professes it, “if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” 1 Cord 15:14.

And secondly, it gives me an immense joy that Christ who conquered death LIVES FOR ME… above all only during the HOLY WEEK, we have the greatest privilege to react to the mystery of our faith. This year I felt so down, just because we didn’t have the chance to celebrate that mystery of our faith as the community.

God has his own reason and purpose I am not here to question that just because my little brain cannot comprehend everything of his reasons and purposes, anyway.

The most important reason why I love Easter is right after Easter, we will have the greatest privilege to recall and reflect on the life of first Christians. When you reflect upon their lives and how they led their heroic life would be inspiring our spiritual life. It would be more encouraging to read and reflect every year just because every year it would be inspiring you differently. Just for example

“Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts, they were praising God and enjoying the good will of all the people. Every day the Lord was adding to their number those who were being saved. There were no needy ones among them” Acts 2:45-47…

 

it talks about their committed Christian life. Even though the whole government was against them but everyone stood up for their life. First Christians lived such a heroic life that the acts 11:26 “a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.

They led a life that people have witnessed Christ in the followers of Christ hence they were all called or named Christians. Wow-what a witnessing life??? The first reading today is another model of that Christian life. It shows how and why the early Church developed social institutions and Church offices to keep Jesus’ memory alive.

It tells us how the apostles and early Christians, as a Church community, prayerfully and amicably solved a community problem.  It is the famous account of the selection of the first deacons in the church.  The Greek-speaking widows complained that the Aramaic-speaking food-ministers were short-changing them at meals in favor of the Aramaic-speaking widows.  The apostles solved the problem by convening a meeting of “the whole community of the disciples” and informing them that they should be the ones to work through their problem.  Their task:

“Select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to the task” of distributing the food (6:3). 

Note the names of the chosen seven: “Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolaus of Antioch.”  Every single one is Greek!  Luke tells us that the Church believed that if the Greeks in the community had a problem, then the Greeks in the community were important and gifted enough to solve their problem. 

The apostles ratified the choice of these community servants by praying over them and laying hands on them.  The apostles’ choice to solemnize the choosing by the ancient ritual of the imposition of hands on those chosen suggests something very interesting about service in the Church. The Apostles seem to be saying that the role of the community servant is worthy of what would become known as “ordination.” 

That is, service is so important in the life of the Church, that we cannot be the Church of Christ Jesus if we’re without mutual service.  Word, and Sacrament, and Service, are the three constituents of the Church which Jesus founded, and the Holy Spirit brought to active life.

Early Christians – a Blueprint for living in Harmony

The lesson that we can learn from the first Christians would be also a model for each and every one of us and for our family and community as well. The world in which we live wants to group together under some ‘title’ like a hyper, strong person, willed, nervous, weak and the list is unending … we many times tend to come to the conclusion that either “we are compatible” or “we cannot get along” under these grouped titles as individuals and in the communities..….when I reflect upon it, please read back again the reading… its different races and very different people … they

1. Brought a notification,

2. They all came together,

3. Sat together,

4. Discussed it 

5. Worked it out

6. Solved it FOR THE BETTERMENT OF THE COMMUNITY.

I believe it should the model in our family life and in the community. Anything for the betterment of the community and for the common good, throwing away their own individual nature, personality, and selfish reasons…

May the life of the first Christians inspire us as well.

Amen.

Stay safe and be reassured that God is with you in this time of crisis and isolation!
Stay connected to others during this time through phone, email, and social media.
Have a Blessed Week,

Fr. Nathan

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