Acts 19:1-8; John 16:29-33
- Jesus’ Departure
- OTHER HOMILY SOURCES from Kerygma
2016 COURAGEOUS – “In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” – John 16:33
In February 2015, news of the kidnapping and beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians by ISIS terrorists in Libya broke out. This was preceded by other news reports of terrible acts of violence by ISIS, an extremist group of Muslims.
The 21 Christians have since been recognized as martyrs by the Coptic Church, with Pope Francis himself saying in an address to members of the Church of Scotland, “The blood of our Christian brothers and sisters is a testimony which cries out to be heard. It makes no difference whether they be Catholics, Orthodox, Copts or Protestants. They are Christians!”
According to news reports, the Coptic Christian martyrs’ last words were,“Ya Rabbi Yasou,” or “My Lord Jesus.” Even at the moment of death, they bravely declared their faith in Christ, drawing their courage from Him who has “conquered the world.”
May we, who are not as persecuted and terrorized for our faith as others are, be inspired by our Coptic brethren’s example. Let us live courageously for Jesus and do our part to spread the Gospel. Tina Santiago Rodriguez (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reflection: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” (Edmund Burke). Do something good for others today.
Lord, fill me with the courage to proclaim Your righteousness and faithfulness every day.
2016 GOD IS FOR YOU – Once, a woman who was having troubles with her husband shared to me that there are nights when she lies in bed, her husband just beside her, yet she felt all alone.
It’s true. You may be with a group of people yet feel like you’re all by your lonesome. Why is this so? It is not enough that someone is with you. That someone should also be for you. When someone is for you, then you will feel loved, secure and wanted. Even when that someone is not physically present, his presence is just as palpable.
In the Old Testament, it has been prophesied that a virgin will be with child and bear a son. And he will be called Emmanuel, a name which means God is with us (see Isaiah 7:14). The New Testament saw the fulfillment of that prophecy. The virgin was Mary and the child to be called Emmanuel was Jesus. Jesus is with us. But Jesus is not only with us. He is unstintingly for us.
In the Eucharist, Jesus’ eternal sacrament, He promised, “This is My body, given up for you.” Readiness to be with someone is only accompaniment. Willingness to be for someone is atonement, a readiness to die in place of someone for his salvation.
Today in the Gospel, Jesus spoke of the oneness between Him and the Father: “I am never alone for my Father is with me” (v. 32). Jesus wants to share with us that utter security and confidence. God is not only with us. He is for us. And that is why, like Jesus, we can say we are never alone, because God is not only with us — He is for us! Fr. Joel Jason
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: What is the quality of your presence to your family, Church or community? Are you for them as well?
Lord Jesus, You are nearer to us than we are to ourselves. Free my encounters from shallow accompaniment. Amen.
2017 NO MORE FEAR, JESUS IS HERE – “In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” – John 16:33
We live in a world where fear and terror are everywhere. We feel unsafe not just outside but even inside our homes. Because of this, we are paralyzed and we feel helpless.
Do you want to live life in fear or are you ready for courageous living?
This is no time for cowardice and half-heartedness. We need a new generation of courageous men and women to take on the challenge of living not for the world but for the Lord, living life in its fullness.
We need courageous men and women to stand up for what is right at home, in the workplace, in our communities, and to be followers of Jesus to conquer the world with love.
This may sound impossible but take courage because you are not alone in this battle. This is what Easter is all about. Remember that Jesus Christ has already conquered sin and death. God has already won for us. Have no more fear because Jesus is here. JC Libiran (JCLibiran@ymail.com)
Reflection:“Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
Jesus, You are my shield and protection. I am courageous not because of my strength but because I have You by my side. Amen.
2020 LOVE CONQUERS ALL “Take courage, I have conquered the world.” – John 16:33
He was intently listening to my talk. I noticed that he was even takingdown notes using his phone. But there was something wrong. He avoided eye contact every time I looked at him. As I was about to step out of the venue, I heard someone call out my name. It was him.
“Sir, thank you!” He shook my hand with his head bowed down. “Your message moved me to enjoy life again.”
“Praise God! Is there anything that you want me to pray for you?” I asked. His reply shocked me.
“I wanted to commit suicide this morning. But today, I heard that my worries are nothing compared to God’s love!”
He continued with his story. His father was an overseas worker. His mother passed away when he was a young boy, so he grew up with his grandmother. He hung out with the wrong friends who were there when it was fun but went missing when he was down. This made him feel lonely most of the time. He felt that the world could move on without him. He changed his perspective about life after he heard about Jesus. He realized that if God was willing to die for him, then it wasn’t right for him to end his own life.
The worries of this world may affect us but remember: He has “conquered the world” (John 16:33). Alvin Fabella (email@example.com)
Reflect: Are your worries keeping you from receiving God’s love?
Lord, may I feel Your presence and love in the midst of my worries. May my concerns increase my faith, not my anxiety.
2020 NEVER ALONE Being alone and feeling alone have always been seen as negative. Being surrounded by others who care, on the other hand, is considered positive. This may well be the reason we Filipinos value the family so much. Family- centeredness has been credited as among the highest-ranked values for the Filipino society.
The family has even been seen as the lifeline and lifesaver for many overseas Filipino workers all over the world.
Truth to tell, many Filipinos live “alone” where they work in more than 130 countries. But on account of the Filipinos’ propensity to gather together regularly during days off, or to live together in crampled apartment houses everywhere, one can always say that we Filipinos, at any given time, are never alone.
Through the use of Viber, Facetime, Facebook, we can say that despite the distance, the knowledge that one’s family is just a text or a video chat away is enough to lift up one’s sagging spirits or encourage someone who may be feeling down.
Distance, for many of us, does not mean the demise of a warm and intimate relationship.
Today’s Gospel passage sounds very familiar to many of us, if not for all. The Ascension of the Lord took Him away from our physical sight. But like many of us who were separated from kith and kin in order to work abroad, we kind of “left Him alone” too to live in cultures that are very far from being Christian. We felt alone too in many ways. Many of us even felt troubled by the distance and the strangeness of the cultures that welcomed us. A great many even had to face real stories of broken relationships.
I know I am not alone in finding solace and comfort in the Lord’s words today. “In the world, you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB
———— REFLECTION QUESTION ———-
Where do you find your comfort?
Strengthen me, O Lord, and encourage me when I feel most alone. Remind me that You are always with me. Amen.
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