Homily for May 10, 2017
We all have different images of Jesus in our minds and one of such images is that of a judge who will one day sit down to condemn us for our sins. After all in the Apostle’s Creed which we recite every day, it is clearly stated:
“…He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead.”
But surprisingly as we discover in our Gospel passage this morning, Jesus himself does not seem to agree with the fact of him being a judge. He says: “If any one hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.” John 12:47.
In fact, that popular verse we recite always throws more light to this fact. John 3:16-17 says: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.”
Now, one thing that is clear that Jesus upon coming into this world as a man did not come to judge or condemn it, he simply came to save it. However, this does not mean we are free to do whatever we like because as Jesus goes further to say:
“He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings has a judge; the word that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day.” John 12:48. In other words, the very words themselves will judge those who refuse to abide by them.
So, in as much as we are not to develop a scary image of Jesus as a judge, we should remember that we shall surely give an account of our deeds one day. We shall all face judgment. We shall all be punished for our evil deeds, for our refusal to believe the words of Jesus and for choosing to remain in sin.
Hence, let us take advantage of the chance we still have now. Let us use every opportunity still at our disposal to tap from the redemption Christ offers us through his precious blood shed on the cross of Calvary. Let us draw close to Jesus, take his words more seriously and live by them.
The early Christian community were so devoted in their worship and sincere in their walking in the light that on one occasion, while fasting and praying, they heard the voice of the Holy Spirit speak to them asking them to set apart Barnabas and Saul for the missions.
This would be the beginning of the ministry of Saul whose name would later change to Paul. He would not only transverse great distances on his missionary endeavour, almost have of the New Testament would come from his hand writing.
That same Holy Spirit that spoke when the Christian community gathered in sincere worship is still available today. And when we genuinely deepen our spiritual life and draw close to God, we would hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, we too (anyone) can be called upon on mission.
In the final analysis, it is not for to go about wondering how judgement day would be or whether Jesus is a judge or not. Our sole concern should be how we can be holy, pure and spotless enough so as to be used to accomplish great things by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, set me on fire to proclaim your word to the world. Amen
*Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Wednesday of the 4th Week of Easter. Bible Study: Acts 12:24-13:5 and John 12:44-50).*