HOMILY FOR FRIDAY OF THE 1ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR I.
THEME: The Lord can work more powerfully through a community of faith than through one person’s solitary faith. We each belong to a community of faith.
BY: Fr. Deotacious Chikontwe, SMA.
*READINGS OF THE DAY*
*FROM OUR FIRST READING*
Today’s first reading says that ‘we must do everything we can to reach this place of rest’. This place of rest is, ultimately, the kingdom of heaven. We often pray that eternal rest would be granted to those who have died. ‘Rest’ in that rest is not just the absence of activity, but a renewal of our spirit. The psalm, ‘The Lord is my shepherd’, says of the Lord, ‘near restful waters he leads me to revive my drooping spirit’, The Lord wants us to experience ‘rest’ in that sense not just beyond this earthly life but during our earthly lives. He is always at work to revive our drooping spirits and he wants to work through us to revive the drooping spirits of others.
*FROM OUR GOSPEL READING*
The image of the four men carrying the paralytic to Jesus in today’s gospel reading is a very graphic one. They were so determined to get him to Jesus that they opened a hole in the roof above Jesus when their way through the door was blocked because of the crowd. They wanted to get their friend to Jesus because they recognized Jesus as the source of health and life. They were taking their friend to a fuller life.
There are times when we can do very little for ourselves and we are completely dependant on others for health, for life, for safety. There are other times when we might find ourselves in the role of the four friends in the gospel reading, in a position to help others to their feet, to bring others from darkness to light, from death to life. We are called to carry each other’s burdens. When we are faithful to that calling we align ourselves with Jesus who said, ‘Come to me all you who labour and are overburdened and I will give you rest’. The Lord looks to us to help him to carry the burdens of others and to bring them to a greater fullness of life.
May God give us the spirit of being our brothers and sisters keepers.
Peace be with You.
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