HOMILY FOR SATURDAY OF THE 7TH WEEK OF EASTER
THEME: REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS
BY: Fr. Karabari Paul
HOMILYFOR SATURDAY JUNE 4 2022
“And he lived there two whole years at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ quite openly and unhindered”
When we are going through a tough time, it can be easy to blame God. We ask ‘Why?’, we analyse everything we have done to see if we are being punished for something, and we can feel hopeless. There are plenty of stories in the Bible of people who had to face really tough situations. They must have wondered where God was at some points. Joseph ended up in prison, as did Paul. John was exiled on a remote island. Lazarus faced illness, and death. But God used all this suffering for good.
Today in the First Reading (Acts 28:16-20, 30-31), Paul is placed in house arrest because of his faith. Paul in this situation maintained a positive side of life. The thing is, unless we believe that God didn’t cause our suffering, then we won’t see the good that He can bring out of it. Looking back, Joseph could say, ‘You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives’ (Genesis 50:20).
When we look for God’s goodness and purposes in our situations, we will stop blaming Him and begin to see those situations differently. We will see them as stepping stones to blessing. We will see them as opportunities to learn and grow. We will see them as ways for God to be glorified. God will use the circumstances we are in today to strengthen us, draw us closer to Him, and accomplish His will for our lives. So let us try and see God’s goodness, whatever we are facing.
Are you an optimist or a pessimist? Would people say you are a positive or negative sort of person? Our attitude is something we have control over. We can choose to react positively to situations, or we can choose to be negative. Paul in same prison in Rome wrote, ‘Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!’(Philippians 4:4). It seems amazing that someone who had been placed in prison because of his faith, was able to give such positive advice. We might have expected him to have been despondent, miserable, scared, or have even begun to doubt God. But he remained positive, grateful to God, and able to encourage others. The people Paul was writing to weren’t in prison. They were Christians in Philippi. We don’t know their circumstances. Paul’s situation was probably worse, yet he took the time to encourage these Christians. He even repeated himself, ‘Again I will say, rejoice!’, to emphasise his point.
We often forget that we should be rejoicing in all of our circumstances and end up back in negativity so quickly. That is because our eyes are usually focused on the things in front of us – on the problems, the hurt, the sadness. But God calls us to lift our eyes and focus on Him. When we shift our gaze we can’t help but rejoice, because we see how incredible God is and how small our situations seem compared to Him. So will you take Paul’s advice today and rejoice in the Lord always? GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE. May God bless you and your household always through Christ Our Lord Amen. Good morning. Happy Weekend.
Fr. Karabari Paul
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