CYCLE II: HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY OF 32ND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: ATTITUDE OF PRAISE & THANKSGIVING!
BY: Fr. Benedict Agbo
HOMILY: * Titus 3 : 1 – 7, Lk 17 : 11 – 19.
At preconversion stage, we take so much of God’s blessings for granted ; the air we breathe, our good health/ divine protection from enemies, our going out and our coming in, etc. It is incredible as recorded in today’s gospel, that 10 lepers were cured by Jesus and at the end, only one ( an unbeliever, so to speak) came back to say THANK YOU. This is the reality of present day christianity. Today’s 1st reading warns us against preconversion behaviours like disobedience to authorities, slander, quarrelling, immorality, etc and encourages everybody to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be honest and speak no evil of any person and to avoid quarrels as much as possible.
Since Christ has saved us by his mercy, we must allow ourselves to experience regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit. The Prophet Isaiah says : ‘ Behold I am doing something new…the people I have shaped for myself will broadcast my praises’, Is 43 : 19. The best opportunity for this is at the table of the Eucharist – the perfect Thanksgiving mass that the Lord has prepared for us Christians, Lk 22 : 20. Cultivating an attitude of praise and thanksgiving therefore is the first sign of conversion and regeneration.
* Story of the ungrateful begger who ate at the King’s palace.
Jesus made 2 pedagogical statements to the lepers in today’s gospel that we cannot gloss over : The 1st one is an instruction : Go and show yourselves to the priests while the 2nd one is a complaint : Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner? When you show yourself to the priest you receive sacramental healing – your sins are forgiven, Jn 20 : 23 but when you give thanks to God , you receive full spiritual healing – your salvation is guaranteed. Sacramental healing is like a certificate of clearance to commune again with the people of God after a major ailment like leprosy ( just like after commiting mortal sin, 1Jn 5 : 16). But the full Spiritual healing is to have the full guarantee of salvation and new life in Christ. Friends, make no mistake about this : the new life in Christ is characterized by humility /obedience to the authorities and the attitude of praise and thanksgiving.
May God bless you today!