HOMILY FOR THE TWENTY-SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR A
HOMILY THEME: GOD’S WORD INVITES US TO PRESENT OUR BODIES AS A LIVING SACRIFICE, HOLY AND ACCEPTABLE TO HIM.
BY: Fr Cosmas Ukadike
In the day’s first reading we hear the prophet Jeremiah expressing the power of the influence of God’s word in his life. He addressed God thus:
O Lord, you have enticed me, and I was enticed; you have overpowered me, and you have prevailed (Jer 20, 7).
Ordinarily, Jeremiah wouldn’t have subjected himself against his own will to doing only the will of God, but because he allowed himself to be seduced by the word of God. That is, he harkened to God’s word and allowed himself to be influenced by it, so God began to prevail in his life.
JEREMIAH responded to the invitation of presenting himself to God as a willing sacrifice and God took hold of him and filled his heart with his Word so much so that Jeremiah could no longer resist speaking and even shouting in the name of God Most High. He shared his encounter thus:
For the word of the Lord has become for me a reproach and derision all day long. If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” then within me there is something like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot (20, 8/9).
In his Apostolic exhalation, “the Joy of the Gospel”, Pope Francis declared that when Gods word finds a home in our hearts, we would not be able to keep it to ourselves and so it must flow out of us and everyone around will have a feel of this joy of the Lord in us.
This is why in the second reading of today St Paul presents it as an appeal that we all must present ourselves as a living sacrifice Holy and acceptable to God, he calls it a “Spiritual Worship”(Rom 12, 1-2) and it is important to note that, it is acceptable and pleasing to God. Our lives must be that which is solely meant to please the Lord. If not we are not living for God but for our own self and this can be very dangerous.
Jesus did not live for himself. He lived for God the Father who sent him and died doing his will. This is what today’s Gospel reading is presenting us with, a life of sacrifice which calls us to self- denial and to stand-up for God always; doing his will; “For what will it profit men/women if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life? (Matt 16, 26-27).
Let us therefore make ourselves available for God to use us as his instrument of conversion for our generation. In doing this, we are presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice holy and pleasing to God. And upon the return of Jesus with his host of angels he will reward us for this sacrifice.
May God bless you and bless his words in your heart.
May God prevail in your life.