HOMILY FOR THURSDAY OF THE THIRTY-FIRST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR A.
HOMILY THEME: THE DEDICATION OF THE LATERAN BASILICA IN ROME
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
Feast of the Dedication of John Lateran Basilica in Rome.
Today is the Feast of the Dedication of John Lateran Church in Rome. It is the parish church of Rome and possesses the highest dignity of being church. It is a church where much of the significant councils were held and significant church dogmas were born. One can feel the holiness and prestige it has immediately at the entrance. We thank the Lord for this place of worship.
We designate places for worship even if God may be worshipped anywhere. The church allows gathering of people as friends and a community. Even during the time of the Lord Jesus, temples serve as a place to seek God and pray together as a people.
While we give importance to the church as a building, we must be aware of our bodies as temples of the Spirit. Thus, we must try to make it worthy for the Lord to dwell.
In today’s First Reading Paul writes a very moving letter to Philemon, the master of Onesimus. Paul related to Philemon that while Onesimus was away, he stood as a father to him and convinced him to be baptized. Paul could have made Onesimus stay with him but he would not want to do that without informing Philemon. Paul also told Philemon that what happened to Onesimus might be God’s will. Paul finally appealed to Philemon not to accept Onesimus not anymore a slave but a free man. As an assurance, Paul reminded Philemon that he owed Paul. Paul honestly said that he just wanted to profit from him in the Lord.
Did Paul take advantage of Philemon unfairly? Was his service to Philemon not authentic? Did Paul abuse his position in the community?Not so to all questions. Paul was sincere when he helped Philemon. He just wanted Philemon and Onesimus to have a better relationship. Inseams, who had been baptized, has become free both from slavery and sin. It was the best good Paul was offering for Philemon. He was appealing to him to render forgiveness for a slave who ran away and freeing him from slavery. It was a fruit worthy of picking for it is in the Lord.
It was not an easy thing for Philemon to do. Paul, on the other hand would do anything for the Lord. He was actually doing Philemon a big favour. We can learn from both. From Philemon, forgiveness and from Paul, resolve to do everything for the greater glory of God.