May
21

Rogation Sunday/Easter V (Mother’s Day)

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Rogation Sunday

James 1: 22-27 – John 16: 23-33

On this special occasion, I would like to wish a warm and sincere HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all our mothers. Dear Mothers, you have given us so much: love from your hearts, the warmth of your touch, and most importantly the gift of life. And you are friends to us. Please accept these simple words on behalf of the men and the children of our church as a gift from our hearts to you for making our lives so brighter.

HAPPY AND JOYFUL MOTHER’S DAY!

Today is also Rogation Sunday. And we know that rogation days are four days preceding Ascension day. And they are set apart to invoke the mercy of God. The word Rogation comes from the Latin verb rogare, meaning “to ask”. That’s why in the Gospel today Jesus says “Ask and ye shall receive”.

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world”

The tendency of human being is to avoid pain, hardship, or sorrow, to not move on from the childish things, not to limit ourselves. We all like easy things; things that would not create trouble or bring storms over our lives.

Even in church environment we use Christian faith as a way of telling people “do you want your life to be easier? Do want to get rid of all the hassles, the turmoil and all those things that are difficult in your life and have a wonderful and free life?” That’s how people present the church, and they think that’s what Christianity is all about! Beloved it is NOT true! There is no guarantee that the road that is called Christianity will be easy. “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). That’s the promise of Jesus to his disciples. He promised that they will have trouble, they will face storms. But “take heart, I have overcome the world”. We remember that Jesus gave this speech as he was on his way to the garden of Gethsemane to signify that growth happens in our personal life and in our spiritual life through transformation not substitution. That’s why, last Sunday in the Gospel, when Jesus was talking to his disciples he used the analogy of a woman who was in a pain of child birth. What Jesus was saying is that this woman must go through a pain in order to enjoy the birth of a child. In another discussion he said that “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit (John 12: 24).

The point that Jesus is making here is that as believers we came through grief.

It is so difficult for most of us to admit that some of our most significant growths have come through pain and struggle. That’s life with ups and downs…pain and joy, struggle and happiness.

In our Epistle today, James urges us not to only listen to the word of God but to do what it says. To do what the word says, you will face trials; you will go through storms in life, in your marriage, in your family, at your workplace and anywhere that you go.

Is everything going well in your life? Are you having a cool and smooth time in your relationships? If your answer is yes, know that you are just a listener of the word.

You are not doing what it says. When you look at yourself and you realize that you have never faced a storm in your life…I am talking about storm that is a result of your faith, the storm that the early church had to face, the storm that many believers are still struggling with today…If you have not gone through that yet, you need to check very well your relationship with the Lord. Christianity is not just to follow rules, regulations, or even tradition. It is a question of relationship. If you truly have and you truly cultivate that relationship with Jesus you will go through what he went through. Do that self-examination and that will bring changes to your life.

“Seek first the Kingdom of heaven and its righteousness” says Jesus. This means make that choice, go through that narrow gate, take up that cross and get on the road. People will hate you because of the righteousness of God working in you. People will dislike you because you are so humble. They will say all kinds of bad things about you because you are so meek. They will persecute you because you are so real and you tell the truth. Remember the words of Jesus how he said: “’No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecute me, they will persecute you also”. But it is encouraging to listen to the word of God from the book of Isaiah “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon you. For I am the Lord your God” (Isaiah 43: 2-3).

Beloved in Christ, keep on doing what you are doing. Keep up the good spirit. Seek first the kingdom and every else will be added onto you. You will become productive; you will become successful; you will win the crown of glory. Remember, Jesus has overcome the world. Amen!