HOMILY FOR THURSDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR B
HOMILY THEME: TEMPTATION IN BEING SOUGHT AFTER
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
In the day’s Gospel Jesus is being sought by so many people from different and far away places. His popularity had spread due to His miracles and teachings. Everyone wants to have a piece of Jesus’ presence, words, and works. It must have been very difficult.
Years ago, we were visited by the pope. And we saw how he was secured by the government. Police, marines, special forces, barangay tanod and even parishioners were summoned and tasked to provide security for the pope because people will really seek to get near and hold the pope. You can imagine Jesus’ difficulty given the fact that He did not have as many and as experienced security! In fact, Jesus only had His apostles to rely on.
Being sought by so many people is a big temptation to be derailed of one’s mission. Jesus was careful never to veer away from the direction He must take and the goal He must reach. Pope Francis was an expert on that. In fact, at one point, he stressed that it is Jesus who we must see and listen to. He only represented Jesus. Nevertheless, he admitted being energised by the people.
Going back to Jesus, He really captured the hearts and minds of so many people. They even went as far as proclaiming Him as the Son of God. So how should Jesus respond? At one point, they wanted to carry Him and declare Him king. He is a king, alright. But not the king they believed Him to be. Jesus did not want to be proclaimed in their terms. he had a mission and that mission He will fulfil.
In this sense, we also admire Pope Francis. He came for the poor in Tacloban. While he also had schedules here in Manila, His destination was to visit the victims of typhoon Yolanda. When he saw the suffering of the people he told himself that he must see them. Manila gave him a very warm welcome. Manila was very tempting. It did not help that going to Tacloban was very dangerous. A typhoon was looming near Tacloban. On that very day when he was to leave for Tacloban, flying was very dangerous. Up to the last minute, they were waiting for an advise to proceed. Finally, the pope decided to go. But not without risks. Someone revealed that the flight was bumpy and some even thought they would crash. Thus, when the pilot told the pope that they should go back to Manila or else they would have to stay in Tacloban due to a coming typhoon, the pope reluctantly cut short his trip but not without meeting all his schedules even if hurriedly done.
Jesus and Pope Francis remind us to stay focused in our mission. There will be distractions, temptations and hindrances. let us not allow them to derail us. Let us keep our eyes on Jesus.