HOMILY FOR THE 20TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR C.
THEME: ALWAYS STAND FOR THE TRUTH
BY: REV. FR GODWIN ALKALI, C. S.Sp
HOMILY FOR SUNDAY AUGUST 14 2022
READINGS:Jer.38,4-6.8-10; Ps.40; Heb.12,1-4;Lk.12,49-53.
WHAT IS TRUTH?
Truth as a concept is debated and discussed in several contexts including Philosophy, Art, Theology, and Science. This question was asked by Pilate to Jesus Christ who could not provide the needed answer. However, the concept from the Latin-Veritas, and Greek- Aletheia connotes, Factuality, Reality, Fidelity or Authenticity respectively. It is usually the opposite of falsehood.
On this 20th Sunday, the Church admonishes us to fight against falsehood and evil by following Jesus’ footsteps and stand for the truth.
The prophet Jeremiah suffers grave injustice, for the sake of the message he preached in today’s first reading. He became a man of dissension for all the land where he preached the word of God. His message was so discomforting to the leading men. So their best option was to get rid of him by setting the king up against him. Although they succeeded, in their plot, God proved himself a powerful Saviour. As the one who sent the prophet, he did not allow him to perish but in his own way came to his aid.
The letter to Hebrews in the second reading encourages us to emulate Jesus’ zeal, courage, fortitude, perseverance and fixed our eyes on Him in the face of opposition from the harsh situations and systems of our society.
The gospel passage cites the troubling words of Jesus who speaks of himself as a bringer of fire and division, not of peace. The fire symbolizes judgment upon those who reject God by rejecting Jesus as the Messiah and God’s Son. The baptism which Jesus is to undergo is his own death on the cross (cf. Mark 10:38-39). Finally, Jesus’ presence divides families depending on whether their members accept or reject Jesus as the Messiah.
TAKE HOME LESSONS
1. Following Christ Demands Huge Sacrifices. Anyone who is not ready to suffer cannot be a good Christian. Anyone who tries to please everyone cannot be a truthful and righteous person.
2. Let Jeremiah be our model. Always stand for the truth and it will set you free. A good friend will always say, “I told you…”
3. If we are going to be true Christians, we must be prepared for the sufferings that would come to us in the form of rejection from our own family members.
4. We are encouraged not to Allow Family Come between us and God. Jesus is not against family members, rather He wants us to place a higher value on attaining heaven. It is better to be disowned and hated by your own family members than consent to evil just to please them.
5. The fire Jesus wishes to bring is that which is very positive and objective. Far be it from the “Consuming fire” (HOLY GHOST FIRE) stuff pejoratively construed and employed by most Christians today! It is the fire that purifies, sanctifies, liberates and saves.
6. Jesus’ fire is meant to consume only the debris and fabrics of inordinate attachment, immorality, injustice, evil, and corruption in our lives.
7. God doesn’t abandon his Children especially, those persecuted, isolated, and imprisoned. He is always with them providing, protecting, sustaining and saving them- through some honest people like the Ethiopian Ebedmelech.
8. Our God will rescue us at those moments that our troubles are heightened by the fact that we are on the path of truth and justice, and at those times when our life is a contrast to our society.
*He delivered the Israelites from Egypt- Slavery
*He Saved the at the Red Sea (Ex.14.15ff)
*He provided Mana-Quils and Water
*He Saved David and the Israelites from the
hands of Goliath (1Sam.17.48-51)
*He came to the aid of Shedrach, Meshach &
*He Saved Daniel from the Lions Den by Darius
9. Beloved in Christ, I challenged you to look up to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who saves and brings us to perfection. He is ever faithful and ready to deliver us in times of difficulty as the Psalmist testifies: “I waited and waited for the Lord, and He stooped down to save me, He heard my cry.”
10. When was the last time I stood up against something that was wrong or unjust? What was the occasion?
*Did I ever oppose someone who was acting justly and correctly because of my own ill will or dislike for that person? What can I do to atone for that?
PEACE BE WITH YOU ALL.
REV. FR GODWIN ALKALI, C. S.Sp