HOMILY FOR THURSDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK OF LENT YEAR B
HOMILY THEME: SEEK GOD’S APPROVAL NOT HUMAN APPLAUSE
BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu
“As for human approval, this means nothing to me… How can you believe since you look to one another for approval and are not concerned with the approval that comes from the one God?” John 5:41-44.
The real problem of the Pharisees was that they reduced their worship of God to mere human traditions and regulations; everything had now become eye-service – doing things just for people to see rather than what God really wants. Worship based on human approval is another definition of hypocrisy.
This calls for an examination of conscience. Do I simply do things because of what others say or think about me? Do I really put God first and try to please him even it means losing favour with the people around me? Am I ashamed of professing my faith or of standing for the truth just because of human beings?
For seeking human approval, the Jews could not believe that Jesus is God. When I also go about seeking human approval rather than God’s approval, I end up like Aaron who bowed to the people’s pressure and went ahead to build for them a molten calf saying that was their god.
As our first reading recalls, when God saw that the people had apostatized under Aaron’s leadership he became so angry that he almost destroyed the entire nation. This is what becomes of us when we bow to human pressure instead of putting God first.
Thank God Moses intervened for the people by begging God to change his mind. In Jesus Christ, we see another Moses in that Jesus by his blood intercedes on our behalf before God as St. Paul says in 1st Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”
Dear friends, let us seek first and always to please God rather than people. You may not be popular, don’t worry; people may not like you, no problem; even your neighbours or your family members may hate you, no shaking.
That it is the reigning fashion or that everybody says it is okay does not mean it is okay. Ignore what people are thinking or saying about you, so long as you are doing what God wants, you are on the right track.
Hence St. Peter would say: “But if when you do right and suffer for it you take it patiently, you have God's approval. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” 1 Peter 2:20-21.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, may I seek your approval only. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Thursday of the 4th week of Lent. Bible Study: Exodus 32:7-14 and John 5:31-47).