Homily for Monday of the 32nd Week in Ordinary Time Cycle I
Theme: BEING AWARE OF DIVINE PRESENCE
By: Rev Fr Utazi Prince Marie Benignus
Homily for Monday November 9 2021
Wisdom 1: 1-7; Psalm 139: 1b-3, 4-6, 7-8, 9-10; Luke 17: 1-6
I pray for you: May you be ever more conscious of the presence of the Lord Jesus with you! AMEN
God is omnipresent, that is, God is everywhere. Built upon this, is the fact that God is with us at all times. The problem is that we sometimes do not focus on the presence of God with us. We forget that God is there to help us and guide us. We fall into sin when we forget the fact that God is present with us. The Lord Jesus is with us not to record our sinful actions and thoughts, but to strengths us and empowers us to do the right thing. The awareness of Gods presence is what gives us wisdom and courage to be sons or daughters of God and to give glory to our Father by the decision we make and the activities in which we engage. The readings today are filled with wisdom and sound advice for living out our faith.
The Book of Wisdom, which is part of the Catholic Bible presents us with practical advice on how to live our lives. We are reminded that wisdom is a sign of a life that is in touch with God. Wisdom can be seen as sharing in the life of God and having our relationship with God affect what we do. Justice flows from applying wisdom to our daily life. As one reflects on how God is present in ones daily living, it changes how one acts. Wisdom is the living out of the awareness of Gods presence. The opposite of wisdom, that is not being aware of Gods presence, leads to evil and injustice and sin.
The Responsorial Psalm describes the wisdom of God and Gods closeness to us at all times. It flows from the line in the First Reading which says, God is the witness of the inmost self and the sure observer of the heart and the listener to the tongue. The psalmist is aware of how much God knows humans, especially himself as an individual and writer of the psalms. The Lord has more knowledge of us than we have of ourselves. We can never flee from Gods presence, for God is always with us, not to record every bad thought or deed, but to guide us and protect us.
In the Gospel, Jesus speaks of the need of His disciples to not only live a good life, but also to also avoid scandalizing others as they grow in faith. Jesus warns His disciples not to be the source of scandal for others. Occasions of sin are all around us in the world, but the disciples should not be such an occasion of sin for others. Speaking of sin, Jesus goes on to inform His disciples that they should be willing to point out sin to another believer, not in a manner which condemns the sinner, but in the hope that it will move the sinner to repent. The mention of repenting leads to Jesus commanding His disciples to extend forgiveness repeatedly to those who sin against them. Summarizing what should be the driving force for the disciples, Jesus urges them to put their faith into practice, and great things will happen.
Dear Sisters and Brothers, the readings of today encourage us to be aware of Gods presence. Being aware of Gods presence may not always be obvious to the outside observer of our actions. But, if our awareness of God is not present, it will be obvious to the outside observer that something is missing from our lives, that we are not whole, that there is falseness to our actions. Thus, the more we can be conscious of Gods presence with us at every moment of our lives, the more we will act with the wisdom which comes from God alone. We must continually apply Gods wisdom to our actions. One such reminder of that is in the four letters, WWJD which stand for What Would Jesus Do? or What Would Jesus Have Me Do? – WWJHMD If we can ask ourselves that question before we engage in an activity, we would be guided to do the wise, just, righteous, faith-filled deed. We would also avoid giving scandal to others, for we would be conscious of how our actions would affect the faith journey of others. Thinking about WWJHMD would also makes us aware of the sinfulness of others and move us to be compassionate toward the sinner and willing to forgive those who sin against us, just as Jesus does. Moreso, being aware of Gods presence in our lives can increase the faith, which is Gods life within us.
Dearly beloved, it is when we have the wisdom of acknowledging the Divine Presence, that is, knowing that God is with us, that we can act in a way which gives glory to God. This is what true faith is.
*MEDITATION* What is wisdom to me? Do I see a link between having wisdom and being aware of the presence of God? How often do I turn to the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit in order to seek divine wisdom before making decisions in my life? How can I be a source of wisdom and a reminder to others of Gods presence with them?
*PRAYER* Lord God, we thank you for our lives. We beg you to help us to ask ourselves What Would Jesus Have Me Do? whenever we need to make decisions, whether they are big or small. And may we continue to give You all our praise, glory, and thanks as we journey along the Way back to You. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
*O DIVINE WORD, WHO TOOK FLESH FOR HUMAN SAKE, REDEEM US IN OUR SITUATION*
© Rev Fr Utazi Prince Marie Benignus