CYCLE II: HOMILY FOR FRIDAY OF THE 10TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: The Lord has an answer/solution to your life even in your troubled moments.
BY: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
HOMILY: READINGS: 1 Kings 19: 9. 11-16, Ps. 27, Matthew 5: 27-32
It is good to be zealous for the work of the Lord but over zealousness can lead us to error and get us into problem with God. At times human beings become more troubled than God in the affairs of this world and affairs of God in religion, Church and spirituality. We do this as if God is lazy about things or too slow and unconcerned while we are more concerned and enthusiastic in those things than God. God is patient with everything because he has a plan which he executes and unfolds at the right time, right place and to the right people. Elijah has been defending the cause of God especially in seeing to it that Yahwism continues and never goes into extinction. A question necessary to ask is: Is it our efforts that sustain events of the world or is it God that sustains the universe? Put in another way: Is it our worries and anxiety that take care of things or God? All the efforts of the Prophet Elijah that have yielded positive dividends especially in the ban placed on the rain, and the proof of supremacy of God were possible because God’s hand was in them. At which time do we think that God has left the events of our life to us alone that we go hiding and planning alone for solution? Our anger over events and happenings around us does not change anything till God steps in to change it.
In the first reading today we see how troubled Elijah was about the behaviour of the people of Israel in worshipping a false god and how he complains bitterly that he is left alone as if God does not see or have a plan of action. Yet in his worries, he could not proffer a solution; he thought that hiding was the way out and anger was the best solution. But where can we hide from the face of the Lord and is there anything happening that God is oblivious of? When we feel more worried than God, we find our life filled with great wind where we cannot find God. We discover that our life is like an earthquake and in it we cannot find the Lord too. We also see our life burning like great fire and in that condition, we cannot find the Lord as well. We can only discover the Lord in our life situations when we keep still as he said: Be still and know that I am God. When we maintain some calmness of soul and listen in the interior state of the mind, we hear the voice of the Lord. His voice at that time carries instructions of his plans and what we are to do. This is where the solution lies. We often rage like the fire, and blow up like great winds and shake everywhere like earthquakes and in these states of mind we shall never discover God, neither can we hear his voice nor understand what he instructs. When Elijah calmed down, the Lord proved that he has answer and solution to the problem especially when greatly troubled. He made Elijah know that he is not alone but appointed other prophets and even the one that would take over from him after his death- Elisha. Elijah was troubled about now but God has a plan even for the future.
Beloved, it is important that we heed to the scripture’s advice that we should cast all our worries unto him and bring our burden to him who makes it light. We only need to do things much more different from the rest of the people by adding more values to our Christian life and show more commitment and not just live in the ordinary and normal sense of it. It is important to keep to the advice of Jesus that whatever that will be an obstacle to our entering the kingdom of God or in not living according to his expectation be removed and cut off. If it is worries, lack of faith and trust, impatience and over zealousness, we have to do away with them and put our trust and confidence in the Lord who does not forget our predicament but has plans and solutions to our problems. This does not mean doing nothing- inactivity.
Beloved, let us seek the face of the Lord in all things and not the desires of our heart. Let us ask God to hear our voice and show us mercy whenever we call. As we seek the face of the Lord and wait for his will, may he not hide it from us or in anger dismiss us for our impatience and incredulity. May God give us the grace to be patient and wait for the Lord and be strong and stout-hearted as we wait on the Lord, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf