Homily - 6th Sunday of Easter C

 

Christians, we are both “citizens of heaven” and “citizens of this world”. We are both carried by a hope that does not disappoint and at the same time we are grappling with an uncertain reality, not always easy to live with. Who among us does not feel this tension deep within?

The passage from the book of Revelation that we have just read can make you dream! John dazzles us with his celestial vision. The city of God is shown to us as a city beautiful as a precious stone and illuminated by the Lamb of God, Christ in glory. At the time when John was writing, persecuted Christians received this splendid apparition as a hope, an encouragement in their trials. Am I not tempted to say sometimes: be patient, endure here below, you will be perfectly happy in the hereafter?

We would be wrong to indulge in this dream of somewhere else when the real world disappoints us.

If Christ accompanies us on our road to Emmaus, it is not so that we desert by fleeing into the future, however glorious it may be. We are assured that Christ is at our side and points us to our present responsibilities.

But the opposite of escapism, we can instead allow ourselves to be immersed in the material. The risk is to have no more horizon, no more hope, especially since the media and the surrounding materialism do not provide any other perspective on existence. Producing, consuming, making the most of available leisure, ends up completely occupying time and preoccupations.

We then forget that we are citizens of heaven and we lose sight of the objective of our vocation as children of God.

Our communication with the Lord in prayer is reduced to almost nothing. “Lack of time” we say. In reality, the Lord becomes a forgotten guest in an increasingly restricted corner of existence; it is relegated to the rank of simple recourse in the event of a problem!

Instead of speaking of absence to his apostles, Jesus promises them his presence: "If someone loves me, he will keep my word, we will come to him and we will stay with him"...

Our projects, our work and our human commitments have everything to gain from this presence of God in our lives. The Lord works with us and his Spirit breathes life into our action. Prayer, welcoming the presence of God, is not a waste of time...

“So do not be upset and afraid!  This instruction from Jesus to his people before his departure should stimulate courage and optimism in us. The risen Christ dwells in our midst and gives us his peace.

“I leave you peace, I give you my peace; it is not in the way of the world that I give it to you. »

This peace is first to be welcomed as a gift, as a grace.

A grace to receive and to live...

This peace that Christ offers us is called, of course, joy, respect, love, forgiveness. These are things that are accepted first of all for oneself and which pass through the heart of every man and every woman and which are expressed in terms of fraternity. Living as brothers is a way of combining the great message of Christ: “Love one another”.

 

Is there a possible peace as long as the other is not considered as a brother?

Extensive program. It is that of the gospel.

I will add in closing: when Jesus offers his peace to his disciples in the gospel, he feels the trouble, the sadness and the fear of his disciples. Let your heart not be upset, nor be afraid…” he said to them. It is good for us too to hear these words in these somewhat difficult times that we are living in society with war at our doorstep... yes, let us remember the words of the Risen One: it is peace that I leave you, c it is my peace that I give to you.

Let's not be afraid! Let us welcome the peace of Christ and let us remain with our hearts in peace!

 

Henry Gautron