CYCLE A: HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY OF THE 34TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: Hope in the Midst of
BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu
_“And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands.” *Revelation 15:2* _
I once read somewhere: “Be grateful for your troublesome landlord; if not for his trouble, you would never have been able to build your own house today.” As ironic as this may sound, I think we should always thank our enemies; those who pursue us, those who make life difficult for us. This is because these are the very persons who end up bringing out the very best of us.
Have you noticed that when someone is bent on pulling you down, the person only succeeds in digging a hole thereby further elevating you? As a little kid, there was a short fence separating our house from the next apartment. I never knew I could jump that fence until I was chased by an angry hen for disturbing one of its chicks. Later on, I tried several times to jump that same fence but I just couldn’t. That experience taught me a wonderful lesson: that even from the most painful situations, the best could come.
This was exactly the message John was passing on to his audience in the book of Revelations. The sea of glass mingled with fire represents the torture, the pains, the hardships, the sacrifices, the sweats, the tears and blood of Christians who were being slaughtered under the reign of Emperor Diocletian (the beast). John was assuring them of eventual redemption and glory if only they remained steadfast in the faith.
The experience of the persecuted Christians was indeed a fulfilment of the words of Jesus in today’s Gospel passage when he noted: “They will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons…. You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name.” Dear friends, consider yourself lucky if people hate you because of your Christian Faith and you desire to walk as a child of the light.
Consider yourself lucky not because of what you will suffer but because of what that suffering would produce later on. Even Jesus assures us saying: “But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance, you will gain your lives.”
Once upon a time, I witnessed an apprentice in a particular trade receive a very hot slap from his master. The slap was a “Grade A” slap. That it happened right in my presence was something I couldn’t stomach. I was very bitter with the master for slapping his apprentice and I threatened to stop going there. That was about six years ago. Today, that apprentice has become a master of his own. He is the one who handles my work and he does it excellently. When I asked him about that slap he got that day, he simply laughed saying: “that was only a tip of the iceberg.” He had learnt the job through the hard way and today, he is proud of every suffering he passed through.
Dear friends, the very incidence that made you shed tears will one day become your cause for joy either in this life or in the life to come. Never return hatred for hatred. If you are persecuted for your faith, remember the book of Proverbs which says: “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; for you will heap coals of fire on his head, and the LORD will reward you.” Proverbs 25:21-22.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, may I endure to the very end. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Tuesday of the 34th Week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Revelation 15:1-4, Psalm 98:1-9 and Luke 21:21-19).
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