HOMILY THEME: You shepherds! I am disappointed with you, says the Lord.

BY: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf


HOMILY: READINGS: Ezekiel 34: 1-11, Ps. 23, Matthew 20: 1-16

In the first reading today, we saw God’s anger as he showed his disappointment over those he entrusted the leadership of his people Israel. He judged them guilty and marshaled out the reasons for his disappointment in their failure to the duty he assigned them. Beloved, when we talk about shepherds or the scripture speaks about it, many people’s mind go to spiritual leaders in the Church. Every human being is a sheep belonging to God and Christ shepherds every human being.

So in any position one finds himself as a leader where someone is placed under your charge you are a shepherd. There is always a responsibility that God and people entrust to us when we are in charge of people. God expects us to do certain things for them as responsibility demands of us. It is our duty to put them to the way of light. Any resource that God has placed in our hands; be it intellectual, moral, financial and psychological must be put at their disposal and for their good to assist them make their lives meaningful and human. God faulted the shepherds that instead of feeding the sheep, they take advantage of them and rather feed on them and with them. Many use those under their care to make money, to better their situations and when they are females, many abuse them sexually and defraud some of them because they are vulnerable and may not tell anybody because of the threats put against them. Many of us extort money from those under us before we do any of our responsibilities for them. These are such shepherds that God is complaining that they feed on the sheep and cloth with their skin. The weak that need help in any form we deny them, the sick we do not take care of, the strayed in any way life we never brought back to track, the lost we do not bring back to sanity. Worst is that God sees many of these shepherds looking after the sheep using much force and harshness and this attitude make the sheep to scatter instead of drawing nearer to them. Our inhuman attitude towards them makes them wonder away and fall prey to waiting foes. It is disheartening that even in the Church many pastors do not have time to feed the flock of Christ with helpful word of life but busy themselves with administrative works and building edifices and projects. Many of such shepherds are only interested in the collections and fund raising and how to gulp the money and shout on those who ask for account. Many do not make themselves available to the distressed that need direction and counselling, too busy not to be found in the office. To all these types of shepherds ecclesial, and family, entrepreneurial, traditional/cultural and civil, God shows serious disappointment on you and has vowed to take them away from you. There are three ways of which God can do that: he may take your life or make such sheep revolt against you seeking refuge under a different person. You may also be removed from that office that gave you such unfulfilled responsibility. Those on the political front who have because of the hardship they plunged the people make them vulnerable to immoral life and corrupt practices to make ends meet shall be liable to hash judgment before God who entrusted them those positions of leadership.

Behold how a good shepherd behaves as in the gospel of today. He goes out to look for idle sheep and engage them in meaningful assignment and he pays them according to justice giving them what is due for a day’s wage to take care of them. He cares for all his sheep equally without discrimination and does not listen to complaints of others to see justice done to all his sheep. He is generous with his things and gives them freely their needs.

Beloved, let us buckle up and be wise, let us know that we shall give account of all those God, nature and circumstances have put in our care and know that God is not happy with how we treat them and can take our lives or depose us and put us to shame. May all in authority begin to behave like Jesus the good shepherd who would not allow his sheep to be in idle or in want; may we engage them in meaningful ventures and give them opportunities to thrive; may we lead them as God does to green pastures to give them repose and near restful water for drink of life. I pray that every sheep would love and trust their good shepherds and obey their commands for their own good avoiding any form of revolt and disorder, Amen.

Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf

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