CYCLE II: HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY OF THE 11TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (2)

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CYCLE II: HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY OF THE 11TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

HOMILY THEME: GOD REWARDS RIGHTLY

BY: Fr. Jacob Aondover ATSU

 

HOMILY: READINGS: 2KINGS 1.6-14, PSALM 31, MATTHEW 6:1-6,16-18

Our Liturgy of the Word today states emphatically that there’s reward for the right kind of almsgiving, (Mat. 6:4, 2Cor.9:6ff); the right kind of prayer (Mat. 6:6) and the right kind of fasting (Mat. 6:18). How I desire to be Christian enough, a faithful disciple of Christ as was Elisha to Elijah hence receive a double portion of God’s graces now and always.

Christ had at one point or the other, said that reward await those who follow him diligently. For instance:
1). Those who bear persecution and suffer insult without bitterness have great reward in heaven (Mat. 5:12).
2). Those who offer cold water to his disciples will be rewarded (Mat.10:42). 3). The parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 suggests that faithful service is rewarded.
4). Besides, in the parable of the last judgment, the plain teaching is that there is reward and punishment in accordance with our reaction to the needs of others (Mat. 25:31-46). Unless a thing is good for something, it is good for nothing. Christianity without a goal becomes largely without meaning.

However, the highest reward according to Jesus never comes to those who are seeking it. We who are always calculating our reward for doing good or being Christian only think of God in terms of a judge or an accountant. When we behave like this we say to God: ‘here is an account of the many good works I have done, now, I claim my reward’. Christianity doesn’t work that way. Jesus challenges us to a right attitude as regards; almsgiving, prayer and fasting, that we do these for the sake of God and the good of man, and because it is good to do so. We may take care not be ‘show men/women’ like the Pharisees were, as we go about our Christian duties.

We are tasked not to be hypocritical in our prayer life, for prayer is our communication with God; nothing more, nothing less. Moreover, we are challenged to fast in order to pray effectively and not to earn people’s approval or admiration or praise. Also, we may do well to remember that the truly Christian gives alms primarily to save man in his need and glorify God; he/she does not give to be praised or necessarily rewarded. He/she gives like Jesus gave; “For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for our sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich” (2Cor. 8:9).

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