HOMILY OF TUESDAY OF THE 3RD WEEK OF EASTER YEAR B
Acts 7: 51:-8:1a, John 6:30-35.
THEME: DYING ON THE ALTAR OF CONVICTION: THE FATE OF ST STEPHEN.
When we differ in perception, we shall surely differ in conviction. This will definitely give rise to clashes. In whatever kind of brickbats that may rise among us, it will be difficult to reach a truce, because each one will always be operating with confidence from his or her own point of view, even in ignorance. The fact stands that, our spiritual wavelength will always determine our response to life.
In today’s first reading, we see that, while Stephen was filled with the Holy Spirit, the elders and the scribes were enraged following the mind of their desires. The eyes of their mind were darkened that they could not perceive even a glimpse of Stephen’s heavenly vision. Their limited conviction kept them at the level of religion, while Stephen was basking in deep spirituality, enjoying a divine encounter.
If we do not submit ourselves to the Holy Spirit, we shall continue to operate with mere prim religiosity and pseudo spirituality. We may not know when we are fighting God, while we think that we are fighting for him. On the other hand, if we are soaked in Godly encounter, we can easily pardon or understand those who oppose our ways. And we will build courage in the midst of persecution.
Though our persecutors may be perceived as wicked, they cannot live above their encounter. The elders and the scribes proudly stoned Stephen, but he boldly suffered death as a result of their baseless fury.
However, the Lord Jesus, while hanging on the cross, he said to his Father, “Father, into your hands, I commend my spirit” Luke 23:46.” Amidst the world hatred, the Lord commended his spirit to his Father. Likewise, sure of who he was dying for, Stephen toed the same line when he said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” The assurance of where we are going helps us to step on any obstacles we meet on the way.
May the good Lord open us to the array of his heavenly abode, that we may with joy and conviction stand by his righteous banner. Amen.