HOMILY FOR THE 24TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR C (8)







HOMILY FOR THE 24TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR C

THEME: THE MERCY AND COMPASSION OF GOD

BY: FR. GODWIN ALKALI, CSSp

HOMILY FOR SUNDAY seSEPTEMBER 11 2022

 

READINGS: Exo 32:7-11,13-14: Ps 51; 1Tim 1:12-17; Lk 15:1-32

Today’s liturgy speaks to us about the Merciful Love and compassion of God. A forgiving, second and third chance God who patiently looks for sinners, happily welcomes them back and joyfully celebrates his wayward and erring children.

Today’s first reading asserts how the Israelites revelled against God and committed idolatry shortly after God had delivered them from Egypt. God planned to destroy them but Moses pleaded and God changed His mind about the disaster he planned against them.

Psalm 51 is David hymn of contrition asking for God’s Mercy after he had slept with Uriah’s wife, impregnated her, and killed Uriah in 2Sam.11.1-27. God forgave David because he accepted his wrongdoing and showed contrition.

Paul sings beautiful praises to Christ in the second reading for appointing him as a steward and for giving him the strength for his work, despite the fact that he spoke evil of him, persecuted and insulted him in the past.

The gospel reading presents us with three parables told by Jesus as a response to the self-righteous pharisees who criticized his association with sinners that everyone belongs to God, even ‘the lost one.’ The central message is about Mercy. God does not want any of his children to get lost. Rather, he looks for the straying ones and celebrates them when He finds them.

TAKE HOME LESSONS
1. In God there is forgiveness and fullness of mercy. He is slow to anger and rich in mercy. This is the image with which he created us and wants us to operate with.

2. Beloved, we play the part of the Scribes and the Pharisees each time we deal with others devoid of mercy and whenever we count only on wrongs of others.

3. Mercy of God is stronger than our sins and offences and goes beyond judgment by showing amnesty, pardon and forgiveness.

4. The story of the prodigal son speaks much of hope that is found in God even when we sin against him. It speaks about the bountiful merciful heart of God which is not condemnation but justice with love.

5. The fact is that we do not find God; He finds us! We do not choose Him; He chose us. We do not run to Him; He runs to meet us. Actually, most of the time, He runs after us.

6. One of the destructive effects of sin is that it cuts us away from God (Isaiah 59:2). Christ tells us that when we are cut off from Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5). Let us not pretend that all is well with us. We are all lost and must give God the chance to find us.

7. We need to learn how to welcome others as God welcomes us. We must pray for their well being instead of seeking for their downfall. Are we like the elder son that was happy that his brother was lost so that he could inherit the rest of his father’s fortune?

8. We are all in God’s plan of mercy and love, whether we are the prodigal son or the self-righteous elder son. The gravity of our sins does not deprive us of God’s Mercy, provided we realized and accept our Prodigality or Sinfulness and return to him in contrition and humility.

9. Like the younger son, some of us have various FAR COUNTRIES in our lives. Far countries are those things that push us to sin and disconnect us from the grace of God. We are invited to become positively prodigal like him in our coming totally to our senses and returning to God after wasteful years in the FAR country.

10. The father of the prodigal Son is very much like God who is more interested in our reconciliation with him than in our past. God is rather thinking about a better future for us.

11. Forgiveness is more genuine when people accept their faults sincerely. In all the readings today, the offenders accepted their wrongdoings. Moses accepted that the people had sinned and pleaded on their behalf. St. Paul says of himself, I am the worst sinner (1Tim.1.15-16). The prodigal Son came to his senses; he realized his fault.

12. We are invited to pay attention to our attitude to others whom we tag as unrighteous. Many of us are never wrong but every other person is. Often our disposition in our so-called righteousness could make us worse than those we label as sinners. We must learn to say to God and our neighbours; I am wrong and so sorry.

13. Many of us like the Prodigal Son are in some places or sin we are not supposed to be. We must to resolve to leave those places (the State of Shame and Sinfulness). It is never enough to accept that we are wrong. Repentance signifies leaving behind our Sinfulness and God would receive us to Himself and restore all we have lost by straying away.

14. We are called upon to adopt the prodigal attitude of love and forgiveness from the father and we are finally called upon to drop the negative prodigality of the elder son by not judging and condemning others who are still in the FAR country after all we have been there too.

15. We thus ask ourselves of the efforts are we making to bring people back to God. If we help or hinder repentance and reconciliation and if we intend to be alone in heaven and have hell filled with our neighbours!

QUESTIONS
1. Is there someone you cannot forgive?

2. What is your own FAR COUNTRY?”

3. Which place do you ought to leave?

4. When do you want to leave this place?

LET’S INCLUDE WITH THIS SONG:
“Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I was once lost but now I am found, was blind but now I see.”

PEACE BE WITH YOU ALL

FR. GODWIN ALKALI, CSSp

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