Fr Thomas’ Homily for the 5th Sunday of Easter

Proud Achiever, Wisely Happy

I love chocolate. It gives me a lot of pleasure eating it.  I am not sure what impact it would have on others.”  But if I say Mother Teresa loved the abandoned people of Kolkata streets, it is a different story.  Her love had tremendous consequence.

The early Church had its own conflicts and confusion about leadership and code of practice.  They needed to hear what Jesus’ mind was.  What Jesus taught was simple but very powerful, “love one another just as I have love you”.

Jesus taught most emphatically about his love at the last supper.  He not only spoke but also did things at his last supper with his disciples to make them understand what kind of love he expected from them.  A master washing the feet of his disciples is unheard of.  Yet Jesus did it, to the horror of the onlookers, including the Apostles.  Then he told them, “If I your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you also must wash one another’s feet.” (Jn 13:14).  True love is not separable from service.  To love like Jesus is not to seek self-glory, but to be at the service of others.  Jesus’ life of love culminated in a sacrifice of his life.  From that lowliness God exalted him.  But for those who are full of themselves and unable to bend down to serve others, there is no chance of God exalting their lives.  As a disciple of Jesus, we are not greater than our Lord.  The best we can do is to imitate Jesus in his love and his service.  Jesus advised his followers, “Now that you know this, happiness will be yours if you behave accordingly.”  (Jn 13:17).   No wonder people like Mother Teresa of Kolkata were happier than the so called achievers of her time.

The world we live in seems to be wrapped in achiever stories.  Yet their stories do not seem to last very long.  Achievers come and go.  The people who choose to be at the service of others, because they have a heart for them, have their names resonate all through the history. Those who dedicate their lives in the name of the Lord have their names written in the book of life for ever.  The Church, as the Body of Christ, is to model itself after this service of Jesus.  You and I make up the Church and we are to live the life of love as Jesus did.  Now what do you want to gain in your life – to be a proud achiever or to be wise and happy?