HOMILY OF MONDAY OF THE 3RD WEEK OF EASTER YEAR B
Acts 6:8-15, John 6:22-29
THEME: FROM SIGNS TO BELIEVING
Our good deed can either add to the number of our lovers or increase the number of those who hate us. We reap confusion when we work for applause. Our good works can reduce the relevance of others, while it can raise the hope of some.
In our today’s first reading, Stephen entered into trouble with some who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedman, simply because he was performing great wonders and signs among the people. They had to instigate men, who said, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God. They said that he spoke against the temple; their pride. They used what can stir serious hatred in the people as witness against him.
The obstacles on the way of the gospel are such that, anyone who wants to preach the gospel of God must be strong willed, and be ready to face oppositions.
However our gospel narratives painted the story of those who were searching for Jesus after he performed the miracle of the loaves. Without mincing a word, he told them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not labour for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you; for on him has God the Father set his seal.”
The signs performed by Jesus were invitation for people to draw closer to God and embrace salvation. These were meant to form a new heart in the people. This shift will surely affect the temple setting and amount to shifting of loyalty and thus shift attention from the custodians of the revered temple to Jesus.
When the freedmen understood the possible implications of the signs performed by Stephen, they frown at the possible shift of loyalty that results from it and they concocted lies against him. On the other hands, the crowd were looking for Jesus not because they understood the signs, but for more bread. Interestingly, Jesus helped them to come to another level of thinking. And they asked him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God”. To them he said, “This is the work of God that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
Therefore, any effort in our work of evangelisation that is not geared towards bringing people to believing in Jesus is futile. We must not be known by how many signs and wonders we performed or how much the work of charity we do. All we do must gear at winning souls for Christ.
May all our efforts be sown for an eternal harvest.