CYCLE II: HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF THE 14TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: Scheming God out brings divine rejection and curse
BY: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
HOMILY: READINGS: Hosea 8: 4-7.11-13, Ps.115, Matthew 9: 32-38
Intrinsically and by composition and as a matter of form and substance, man is godly (divinely made). This makes it obvious that man should not and ought not to do anything without the consultation and approval of God. It’s irrational of man to act as if he is forgetful of God and worst still scheme against God. From the events and history of human attitudes and behaviours, many times we act as if we are supreme to ourselves and so independent of God. At times it also looks as if man is forgetful of God when he does his own things; this ought not to be the case. In any situation when man behaves this way, the divine complains and gets aggrieved in this negligence. This is the picture that the Prophet Hosea paints about the house of Israel in the first reading. As a sentinel and watchman of divine ways, he “prophetically” makes us understand in the scenario created about Israel’s attitude that such way of life spells doom on us each time such happens because they elicit the divine rejection which brings divine wrath on us.
From the beginning, Israel was having Theocratic system of governance but in imitation of other ungodly nations and forgetting that they are choice vine asked for a king like other nations. Samuel warned them and their insistence gave them Saul. Since then Israel took it as a right and scheme God out in their choice of leaders. Whenever humanity as in our nation does a politics devoid of God, we end up landing on divine rejection ground which brings curses on the land. The situation and politics of Africa and more in Nigeria is a perfect example of this situation. We do the prayer for good leadership, against bribery and corruption, Nigeria in distress, and wish orally that God makes a selection for us but humanly through dirty politicking bring in our choice as against divine choice. The consequences are obvious. God says: We make Kings but not through him. Set up Princes but not without his knowledge. The resources he has bestowed on us, we idolize and turn them against fellow humans and God. (With silver and gold they made idols for their own destruction). What do we get in return? It is nothing but rejection from God, anger of God (my anger burns against them), their ways shall be smashed (calf of Samaria shall be broken into pieces), they shall reap whirlwind, no more production and harvest yields on the land, even if they yield, enemies will destroy them and makes use of them; and so they do not benefit those they are meant for.
Beloved, in this way of life, our worship and sacrifices become abomination and turn to curses. Our altars become places of evil worship and unaccepted sacrifices. Our churches or gatherings become devoid of divine presence and acceptance. The Lord sees our gatherings and takes no delight in them; we pray and pray but no good comes but behold times of terror. As God recalls our sins, he drives us back to our old Egypt- a place of suffering and pain. In this situation, we become spiritually mute like the demon of the gospel. We lack prophetic voices and cannot make any effect by our pronouncements since they are empty and produce no effect. We need to recognize God again and allow him exorcise us of this mute demoniac operating in us by scheming God out of our affairs so that we might recognize God; speak and make meaningful and effective proclamation against evils of this world. When this happens, people would acclaim our God as never seen before. With a humbled and contrite heart, the Lord would show compassion on us in our harassed and helpless state. This would be the beginning of new and blessed things to come.
We pray that the Lord would revive our spirit and make us to trust in him again and that we shall remember that he has power to do whatever he wills. We pray that we may recognise God in everything that we do and give him preeminent place in all that we do by listening to his directives and following his will for us. We pray that we may see the Lord as our helper and shield and give him unalloyed obedience and pure worship that is acceptable in his sight through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf