HOMILY FOR THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT YEAR B
HOMILY THEME: LEAVE THE DARKNESS; EMBRACE THE LIGHT AND BE SAVED
BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu
“For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God.” John 3:20-21.
Modern man is obsessed with darkness. Even when we know something is just not right, there is this feeling of excitement associated with doing it. Why is evil more attractive than good? In his 2018 Lenten Pastoral, “Where is Your Brother?” Archbishop Akubeze explains this ancient phenomenon:
“In the book of Genesis… Adam and Eve violated the commandment to love God above everything else when they preferred themselves and listened to Satan in disobedience to God. In that singular act of disobedience, we see their rebellion against God. Thus, they passed on their offspring a corrupted human nature, one that is always at war with God.”
From the time of our first parents to this very day, our human nature (the flesh) is corrupt; it is always at war with God and his laws. As St. Paul points out, our flesh is at war with our spirit. “For I delight in the law of God, in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin which dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” Romans 7:22-24.
Dear friends, we carry within us, in our flesh a law of sin which always opts for darkness such that as Jesus said to Nicodemus, even when light has come into the world (in the person of Jesus Christ), we continue to “love darkness rather than light, because our deeds are evil.” Even to this day, we continue to do what the book of Chronicles describes: “… the people added infidelity to infidelity, practicing the abominations of the nations and polluting the Lord’s temple.” 2 Chron. 36:14.
To this day, evil remains the preferred human choice. Even amongst us Christians, we would rather hide to commit evil than come out openly to do what is right, commendable and worthy of praise. Role models have disappeared in our society; as the book of Chronicles says, even the priests (pastors; men and women of God) who should lead us to God have been “exceedingly unfaithful.” Last Sunday, we read how Jesus cleansed the temple that had been polluted by the business activities of the chief priests and religious leaders of the people.
In the midst of all these, God could have simply decided to destroy the world. The fact that we are still alive today is a testimony to the mercy of God. Hence St. Paul says in our second reading today: “God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ.” Ephesians 2:4-5. The attitude of God towards our corrupt human nature is not an attitude of condemnation but compassion. Jesus said to Nicodemus: “For God sent the Son in the world not to condemn the world but that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:17.
Every day, God continues to wait for us like the father in the story of the Prodigal Son. God awaits our return eagerly. We have not only sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, we have been too used to sin that we prefer to remain in darkness rather than come to the light. Unlike the Prodigal Son who came to his senses and decided to return to the Father, we have remained stuck in darkness, we have continued to hide our faces from God like Adam and Eve who hid themselves upon hearing the voice of God.
We cannot continue to make the same mistake of Adam of Eve continuously. We cannot continue to pretend by hiding our sins and making everyone believe we are holy. Whatever is exposed to the light becomes part of the light.
Put an end to the darkness in your life today. Say to yourself: “No more pretence. No more living a double life, no more secrets. If I must hide to do it, if I must sneak out to do it, if I must hide my identity to it, if I must switch to “private mode” to check it, if it is something I will be ashamed of if people get to know, then I should not do it at all.” Embrace the light. Love the light. Live your life as a candle, shine out goodness, don’t copy the darkness you see around you.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, teach me constantly reject sin that my life may be to your glory. Amen.
Happy Sunday. Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Fourth Sunday of Lent. Year B. Bible Study: 2 Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23. Ephesians 2:4-10 and John 3:4-10).