HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK OF LENT YEAR B
HOMILY THEME: WHAT IF I AM WRONG
BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu
“This was why the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath but also called God his Father, making himself equal with God.” John 5:18.
In seeking to kill Jesus, the Jews felt they were doing something right. In their eyes, Jesus was a law breaker, a man who had no respect for God’s day of rest, an ordinary man who insulted God by daring to say God is his Father and implying that he himself is God.
I have tried to put myself in shoes of the Jews at the time of Jesus. I imagine a friend of mine within my age range who grew up with me in the same neighbourhood all of sudden shows up in the Cathedral one morning and starts claiming to be God. What would be my reaction?
In all honestly, I would take a good look at him, examine him very well and ask him if he is the same God I have been worshipping since I was a child or another God. I might even subject him to thorough psychological test. I would do everything I can to convince myself that he is just a man; that I must be out of my senses to assume that he is God.
No matter how many miracles and signs he would work, I would convince myself that they are “film tricks.” Every day I would be asking myself: “Can God eat beans?” Can God or Should God even attempt to reside within the flesh of fellow human being like me? It would be “too good to be true” for me. I would want to find out more about this my friend not so that I can believe him but so that I can find some evidence, some “human trait,” some sinfulness, something somewhere to convince myself that he is not God as he claims.
And as if that is not enough, this my friend begins to preach that it is wrong for people to go to Church on Sunday and many start listening to him. Being a priest, I would consider this a personal attack on my source of income (or better put, my source of sustenance). Without Sundays, I would simply be irrelevant. For attempting to even toil with my “day”, I would be just as mad as a trader whose shop in a busy market is about to brought down. I would fight back!
So you see! If Jesus should come back again, he would surely be killed a second time; so long as there are normal human beings like me in this world who like to hold on strongly to opinions about who God is and how he is to be worshipped. The Jews were convinced just as I am now that the death of Jesus was justice served; they were sure they were doing honour to God. They never asked themselves: “What if I am wrong?” But in the end, history proved them wrong.
Yes, as strange as it sounds, that my friend in his early thirties is actually God; the same God I worship took this sinful human flesh with all its weaknesses, limitations and stress. Yes, as ordinary as this friend is, he is God. Can God eat beans? Yes. He even drinks alcohol and seems to have a liking for red wine! Hmmm, doesn’t this even sound so disrespectful speaking of God this way? But it is so true. I either accept it or I go join the Jews who killed Jesus.
Now, where does all these lead to? My dear friends, if history proved these zealous Jews wrong, how sure am I that the views I hold right now are true? What makes me convinced that even those opinions I am passionate about are correct? Before I “kill” again, I must learn from history; before I shout “crucify him” against someone who does not hold my opinion, I think it would be wise to first ask myself: “what if I am wrong?”
Don’t be too quick to destroy or bring people down simply because you don’t agree with them. They killed Jesus because they saw him as an obstruction against all the prophesies of old not knowing that even the very act of killing him was part of the fulfilment of the same prophesies. In their disbelief and ignorance, they helped to prove to the world that Jesus is really God. You see, no one can fight the truth!
Be humble. Stop arguing. You may not be right. You cannot be right always. Listen to others. There may be something to learn even from your greatest critiques.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, your coming as man was just too good to be true, may I not take your presence even now for granted. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Wednesday of the 4th week of Lent. Bible Study: Isaiah 49:8-15 and John 5:17-30).