HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK OF LENT YEAR B
HOMILY THEME: BE KIND TO JESUS IN YOUR NEIGHBOUR
BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu
“Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.” Matthew 25:40.
In the sixth Station of the Cross, Jesus speaks: “Can you be brave enough to wipe my bloody face?” “Where is your face?” you may ask, and I will answer “at home, at work, in the streets, in market corners, wherever suffering exists, my face is there and there I look for you to wipe away my blood and tears.”
Growth in the spiritual life is ability to see Jesus in other people.This is the essence of holiness, the summary of the entire commandments and the basis on which we shall be judged at the end of time.
Christ will welcome us into Paradise because we wiped away his tears and blood in the face of the naked, the homeless, the hungry, the sick, the imprisoned and the thirsty. When you see tears flowing from a person’s eyes, when you see a person lost, confused, worried and dejected, you see Jesus.
Treat people well, not because they deserve it but because you just want to be kind to the Jesus you see in them. If someone begs from you, take it as the voice of Jesus begging from you and treat that person just as you would love God to treat you when you beg from him in prayer.
A great man once commeneted: “The amount of respect I give to people is not based on how high they carry themselves but how they treat those lower than they are.” How do you treat people lower than you? How do you treat those who cannot measure up to your status, your money, your intelligence, your position? Whatsoever you do to the least (the smallest, the unimportant, the poorest, the minority), that you do unto me
The book of Leviticus tells us: “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason with your neighbour, lest you bear sin because of him…but you shall love your neighbour as yourself.” Leviticus 19:15-18.
Are you finding it difficult to overcome hatred in your heart for a brother or sister? Then try to see the face of Jesus in that particular brother or sister. Realize that whatever it is that you are planning against him or her, it is Jesus himself you are planning against.
The moment you start seeing Jesus in your enemies, your heart begins to melt towards them. You know no longer feel like striking back at them but praying for their delieverance from captivity. The only way you can love your enemies as Jesus teaches us is by seeing the face of Jesus in your enemies.
The book of Proverbs adds: “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; for you will heap coals of fire on his head, and the LORD will reward you.” Proverbs 25:21-22.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, I love you, all I have is yours, your I am and yours I want to be, help me to see you, love you and treat you well in my neighbours. Amen.
*Be happy, live positive, it is well with you. Monday of the First Week of Lent. Bible Study: Leveticus 19:1-2.11-18 and Matthew 25:31-46.*