CYCLE II: HOMILY FOR THURSDAY OF THE 31ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: UNCONDITIONAL LOVE OF GOD
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
HOMILY: (Lk. 14:25-25) Thursday of the Thirty First Week in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel Jesus were attracting tax collectors and sinners. This made the Pharisees complain about His attitude. It was customary for the religious leaders and Jews not to mix with sinners. They believed that mingling with sinners identified them with the sinners. They were not really concerned of Jesus’ reputation. But they wanted to justify their discrimination of sinners. Jesus, as usual, took the opportunity to teach them and enlighten about Yahweh.
I remember when were kids, our father would assign us to take care of some chickens which, at the proper time, will serve as our food for the celebration. My father wanted that the chickens be allowed to loiter free around the house and when dusk comes, we need to catch them and put them in the cage. One time, me and my brother could not find them. We searched and searched but they were nowhere to be found. We were so worried because our father will be angry if the chickens were not caught. Finally we gave up. When asked about the chickens, we lied that we had safely put them in the cage. We hoped he would not inspect them chickens. He did not. Our plan was to wake up earlier than our father and pretend that we had let the chickens out. Unfortunately, he woke up much earlier than us and discovered that the chickens were not in the cage. We were punished severely for that.
I appreciated my father’s care for the chickens. It was actually a care for us, his family. He wanted to give his family something to feast on when birthdays come. He had reasons to be angry because we did not care for the chickens which could have been lost. How much more if we are talking about souls?
The parable of the lost sheep and the lost coin give us the idea of a God who cares for His people and would do everything to bring them, like a Good Shepherd, back to His fold. Remember that God sent no less than His Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, to become one like us and offered His life for us! Even in our human experience, this is a hard feat to duplicate. What parent will volunteer to offer his or her child to die for a cause no matter how lofty? Yet God did it for us. This maybe a hard truth in our faith, but that is what believe.
The two parables further illustrate that God will seek the lost. Like a good shepherd, He will not rest until the lost sheep is found. We have an aggressive and active God. He is not contented in watching us from a distance and wait for us to come back. He gives us graces which will prompt us to recognize Him, love Him, and serve Him. When Jesus died on the cross, He saved everyone. No one was lost, He told His Father. God loves us unconditionally. But we must be worthy.
God will surely find us. The question is, will we let ourselves be found? In other words, would we respond to His loving invitation to come to Him and rest in Him? The answer and burden are not with God anymore. It is with us.