HOMILY FOR THURSDAY OF THE TWENTY-EIGHT WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR A.
HOMILY THEME: NOT BY POWER BUT BY GRACE.
BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu
“Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded. By what law? By that of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law.” Romans 3:27-28.
Today, St. Paul teaches us that there is no need for anyone to beat his or her chest to boast on the basis of his or her good deeds. If at all we must boast, we are to boast based on what Jesus Christ has done for us not based on our personal efforts.
This calls for deep humility knowing that no matter how good I may be, it is not by my works that I am justified. It is not by my power but by the grace of God.
In fact in this same reading, St. Paul reminds us that “there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith.” Romans 3:22-25.
By saying that all have sinned, St. Paul is not saying we should glory in our sinfulness, rather his point of emphasis is for us to avoid boasting, to avoid having an air of superiority over others, to avoid looking down on people. “Are we any better off? No, not at all; for we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin.” Romans 3:9.
Given that all men are under the power of sin, it then means that my ability to do good or carry out righteous works is simply a testimony of God’s grace working within me. Each time I am able to keep God’s commandment or overcome temptation or do some holy deed, I should give thanks to God because left to myself, I can do nothing.
As Jesus would say: “I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5. If I must boast at all, I can only boast of God’s grace. When we say our Mother Mary was sinless, we are only affirming the fact that Mary was Full of Grace. It was God’s grace that was so much at work in her. It is Grace that makes the Saints extraordinary.
Let us constantly pray for God’s grace and be humble enough to acknowledge God when people tend to praise us for our good deeds.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, fill me with your Grace every day. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Thursday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Romans 3:21-30 and Luke 11:47-54).