Third Sunday of Easter (Year B)

Acts 3: 13-15, 17-19; 1Jn 2: 1-5; Lk 24:35-48

In one of my homilies I was holding a handkerchief before the people and then told them that if you believe in God I can make this stand. Actually, I am going to hold the handkerchief vertically. To make it stand I will hold the top and bottom parts of it. If I loose the top part, then it will not stand. If we don’t have faith in Him, what we have is only faith in ourselves, and then everything will be impossible. In other words, without God we can do nothing.

Today’s gospel bears some connection with the gospel of last Sunday. Last Sunday’s gospel tells us that St. Thomas who is called Didymus was not with them when Jesus came. So he did not believe when the other disciples told him that they had seen the Lord Jesus appeared to them. Thomas told them that unless he will see the nail prints and put his finger on the nail prints, he would not believe. St. Thomas is so like us who can be said to subscribe to the saying “To see is to believe” or “Seeing is Believing.”

Jesus again appeared to His disciples in Jerusalem. When they saw Him, they were terrified and startled and thought that they were saying a ghost. Then He said to them: “Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet… I am not a ghost” (vv.38-39). So Jesus is not a ghost. He is alive in body and spirit.

In other words, these words of Jesus talk about faith. A faith that is believing and trusting. We believe in Jesus who is the Messiah and our savior; he was sentenced to death and crucified but on the third day he rose again from the dead.

I was ordained as a priest we back in 1993 in Maasim, Sarangani Province. I am going to celebrate my seventh-year anniversary as a priest this coming June 2000. In the homily of Bishop Gutierrez, he told the people that so far in all the ordinations he presided during that year, it is in my ordination that there are so many women attended and everybody were laughing. He told the congregation: “So, those who want that this ordination will not be continued, please go to the center and declare that you don’t want to,” so, again everybody were laughing

After the ordination rite, many clapped their hands, laughing, many congratulated me, and many gave me gifts, kissed me in my hands because it smelled good and many more.

But after seven years that clapping of hands is gradually fading and going away from me. I really miss that clapping of hands. What is more sad is that how the people treat me, a very cold treatment. It is like a salt without a taste. In spite of those good deeds that I have done, they are useless and meaningless after I had done a very simple and minor mistake. I lost my enthusiasm. Sometimes I thought of going from the ministry and asked my self why I entered this kind of life if this is what I get in spite of those things I have done for them. I really discouraged.

After a thorough reflection I realized that my priesthood does not focus on the clapping of hands of the people, their praise and affirmation but my priesthood focuses on my faith and love in God, my trust in Him and following His will. And also with you who are here, you want to serve the Lord and His Church not because you want the people to praise and clap at what have you have done, but because of your love and faith in God and following His Will, isn’t it?

A teacher told me: “When you lose, do not cry; when you win, do not boast.” Another implication for this saying is humble service. I hope we act like this. We serve not because not because we want to be popular, we serve because of our faith, trust and following His will.

 

* A comparison between a necktie and handkerchief. Necktie is just for display but the handkerchief is kept in our pocket and yet it helps us so much like wiping our tears, sweat and many more.

See Today’s Readings:  Cycle B

Back to: Third Sunday of Easter (Year B)

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