HOMILY FOR THE 19TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR C (8)







HOMILY FOR THE 19TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR C

THEME: THE FUTURE OF EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE

BY: Fr Andrew Ekpenyong

HOMILY FOR SUNDAY AUGUST 7 2022

 

1. The Future of Everything. Wall Street Journal’s “The Future of Everything” does a good job predicting what is next and conjecturing what is ahead in terms of money, business, science, technology, education, culture, etc. After a 2-year break owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual “Future of Everything Festival” was held May 17-19, 2022. Of course, the organizers and the experts kept acknowledging that they did not see the pandemic coming. Nevertheless, every human being, to some extent, is interested in the future. In fact, some have argued that what sets human beings apart from other species is not language, tools, cooperation, or culture, but rather our contemplation of the future. Hence, they argue, instead of “homo sapiens”, we should be called, “homo prospectus” because the power of prospection, looking into the future, is what makes us wise. Whatever the case, our ignorance of the future, makes the broad definition of faith in today’s 2nd reading (Heb 11:1-2, 8-19) important for everyone: “Brothers and sisters: Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.” (Heb 11:1). For instance, faith in global warming predictions means we trust the words of climate scientists and others that the world will reach a threshold average temperature of 1.5oC above pre-industrial levels by 2040. Anyone with such faith in global warming predictions begins to interpret current climatic anomalies as evidence of what is unseen, realization of what is expected or hoped for, what is yet to come. Likewise, faith in God, means that we trust God’s Word in Scripture spoken through Prophets and finally through God’s Incarnate Son, that there is eternal life after this mortal life and that even now, the grace of God is there to prepare us for this eternal life in Heaven. Of course, faith in God has far more impact on our lives now than faith in anyone else or anything else. Faith in God gives us some practical information about the future of everything and everyone.

2. The Future of Everyone. In the first reading (Wis 18:6-9), faith in God, trust that God’s Word would be fulfilled, enabled the Israelites to leave Egypt courageously for the Promised Land. Miracles such as the crossing of the Red Sea, strengthened their faith. Their faith in God was a continuation of the faith of Abraham and Sarah, who believed God’s promise that their descendants will be “as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sands on the seashore”. The 2nd reading adds that these people of faith had only partial realization of what was hoped for: “All these died in faith. They did not receive what had been promised but saw it and greeted it from afar”. (Heb 11:13). Yes, their faith in God enabled them to live lives of righteousness in preparation for the fulfillment of all that was promised. That preparation is a theme of today’s Gospel reading (Lk 12:32-48). It is a preparation for a future that involves everyone.

3. Ready. Drawing analogy from faithful servants staying alert for their master’s return from a wedding, our Lord declares: “You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.” (Lk 12:40). Sisters and brothers, let us remember that as far as the return of the master is concerned, “Anytime is bad for the unfaithful servant. Any time is a good time for the faithful servant.” More importantly, as you and I have experienced, thanks to the grace of God, faithful servants already enjoy glimpses of the master’s presence because they are ready. We who believe in God are not merely trusting data from someone else. We ourselves, individually and collectively, are in a relationship with God. We feel God’s loving presence in our lives. Day by day, we are realizing what we hope for; God gives us glimpses of glory, evidence of Heaven, though still invisible to us. Just as the sun continues to shine even when clouds get in the way, the love of Christ urges us on (2 Cor 5:14) even through these perilous times, towards our eternal home in the Kingdom of God. This is the ultimate future of everything and everyone. May we stay prepared by growing in faith, hope and love. Amen.

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