Proclaim Jesus' Divinity
Homily for Wednesday of the Fourth Week in Easter
Psalm 19 is classified as a Wisdom Psalm. Scholars also tell us that this psalm is a celebration in two acts. The first stanza of the psalm is a hymn to the sun and is frequently used on the feast days of the apostles. Because the apostles were responsible for spreading the Word of God, the verses used include the verbs “declare,” and “proclaim.” However, there is a bit of irony in using these verses because the sun, while it proclaims the glory of God through its very being, does not use any words while the apostles would have had to use human speech in order to declare their faith in Jesus and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Nonetheless, this psalm is appropriate for both the reading from the First Letter to the Corinthians as well as the passage that we read from the Gospel of St. John.
In his First Letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul succinctly tells us that which Christians are called upon to believe; namely, that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and that he was raised and appeared to the apostles and disciples. St. Paul also makes reference to the fact that Jesus appeared to five hundred brothers and sisters all at the same time. We do not know when this appearance took place or where it took place. This appearance story is not contained in the Gospels.
The passage that we proclaim from the Gospel of St. John comes from chapter fourteen which is focused on two issues; namely, the departure and coming of Jesus as well as the union of Jesus with the Father. The conversation with Philip accentuates the fact that Jesus and the Father are one. You might remember that the passage that was proclaimed yesterday from chapter ten also featured this particular focus. St. John is insistent on the divinity of Jesus, a subject that is invoked in the very first verse of the first chapter of this Gospel. St. John’s intention in writing this Gospel was to proclaim the divinity of Jesus. This particular aspect of our faith comes to us from the preaching of the apostles as well as their successors, the bishops and archbishops of our own day.
Just as the sun declares the glory of God each day as it rises, the firmament – the place where the sun, moon, and stars have their being - proclaims God’s handiwork as Creator. Thus, it follows that we who have placed our faith in God our Creator and his Only Begotten Son and the Holy Spirit must also through the example of our lives declare God’s glory and God’s creative genius.