CYCLE II: HOMILY FOR FRIDAY OF THE 14TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: OURS IS A MERCIFUL GOD, BE CONVERTED TODAY
BY: Rev. Fr. Jacob Aondover ATSU
HOMILY: READINGS: HOSEA 14:1-9, PSALM 51, MATTHEW 10:16-23
“I will heal their disloyalty; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them…he shall blossom like the lily…his shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall be like the olive tree…(Hos. 14:4ff). These verses from the prophecy of Hosea depict the reaction of God towards the truly repentant; how he not only pardons, he forgets and revives. Scripture is very clear on this fact: ‘God loves even the sinner and waits patiently for his/her return’. Psalm 51:19 tells us that God does not spurn a humble contrite heart. Exodus 32:14 shows how God changed his mind from punishing the Israelites who apostatized when Moses pleaded with him. And Ezekiel 18:23 captures the mind of God best: “Do I find pleasure in the death of the wicked? Do I not rejoice when they turn from their evil way and live?”
Beloved of God, true conversion pleases God; and the truly repentant blossom like the lily (Hos. 14:5). He is pure, beautiful and graced; what more does the good christian desire than to have a pure soul? Moreover, the truly repentant flourishes like a garden and blossoms like the vine (Hos. 4:7). He/she is fruitful in the Christian life by being holy and committed to the call of God. Indeed, the one who repents and returns to God is healed, loved and made beautiful by God’s grace. How I pray we (sinners) become wise thereby discern the ways of God and know them. For his ways are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them (Hos. 14:9).
When we discern the ways of the Lord and walk in them, we live humbly knowing that it is God leading our way hence stay ‘sheepish’ always. It was John Chrysostom who opined: “So long as we continue to behave as sheep, we are victorious…even if ten thousand wolves surround us… But the moment we become wolves, we are conquered, FOR WE LOSE THE HELP OF THE SHEPHERD. He is the shepherd of sheep, not of wolves…” We must depend of the chief shepherd if we are to succeed here on earth.
More so, we need wisdom, the kind that the upright posses. For Christ, we ought to be prudent hence stay secured. He also exhorts us to be innocent as we advance his mission wherever we are. As we do this, we may be faced with persecutions and difficulties – tests to our faith; should we give up? No! we are to endure to the very end so as to earn ourselves the saving of God. In all, the mission of God given to us by his Son through the apostles MUST CONTINUE COME WHAT MAY. We may take care to stand with Christ through thick and thin knowing that “the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Matt. 10:22).
God bless and keep you.
FEED THE POOR