Beloved in Christ, as we gather to worship our God this morning ,the Church invites us to reflects on obedience to God during suffering. Therefore I have chosen “THE WAY TO GLORY” as our theme for this sunday with an eye for the events of next week which is Holy Week. My choice of this theme is to help us situates the events of Holy Week in the context of Christian suffering.
Beloved, the way to glory is infact death to self. This reminds me of a the school boy who was asked what part of speech ” My and Mine” were. And he answered that they were aggressive pronouns. Though his answer drew laughter from his mates it reveals in truth the cause of our troubles that is the love of self.
Beloved, our highest life does not consist in self-expression but in self-sacrifice. For it is not what we take up but what we give up that makes us and others rich. And this dying to self involves sacrificing one’s self will for the sake of God and others.
Beloved, following Jesus is not all about miracles and large crowds, rather it involves commitment to his value system and maybe to suffering. Hence seeing Jesus is not like seeing a famous footballer or an actor performing on stage , for to see him is to enter totally his way of thinking, something the Greeks did not realised. And this way of thinking says anyone who loves his life will lose it. Also for Jesus our life become fruitful when we die. However, the instinct for self preservation is very strong and no one wants to die. And it is this threat of death that stirred the deepest fear in Jesus when he said” I am troubled now”(v.27). But real courage does not mean not being afraid, it means knowing enough about the situation to be very much afraid and yet doing what you have to do. For life itself comes through death and like the grain of wheat Jesus had to let go of everything including his own life in order to bring life to many others. This is the paradox of life. And consequently Jesus lost many followers because he came not to please but to lead so he stood for the truth no matter the consequence.
Beloved in Christ, kindly share this homily with your friends as a means of reminding them that the way to glory is through suffering which comes as a results of dying to self; for to die is to give life. Therefore we are to embrace suffering for God with reverence and not with resentment, for death is only a parting cloud which hides the sun. This has been Fr. Dolphyne’s presentation for the fifth sunday of lent, year b. May God richly bless you.