HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY OF THE THIRTY-FOURTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR A.
HOMILY THEME: GOD DOES NOT JOKE WITH HIS OWN
BY: Fr Evaristus Abu
“Then they brought in the golden and silver vessels which had been taken out of the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem; and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone.” Daniel 5:3-4.
Imagine coming home one day only to meet your children scrubbing the floor diligently and happily only for you to check and discover that what they are using to scrub the floor is your most priced piece of clothing. Chaiiii! Abomination! Isn’t it? But it is just a piece of cloth now…. No. No. NO. Someone will receive spanking this night. What nonsense! The dress I wear only once a year…. No way!
If that is how we treat what is our own, do we take out time to consider how we treat the things that belong to God?
The very first commandment states “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them. (Exodus 20, 2 to 5). Furthermore, Jesus himself reminds us in Matthew 4, 10. “It is written: You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.”
The sin of King Belshazzar, son of Nebuchadnezzar in today’s first reading is the sin of SACRILEGE. According to Catechism of the Catholic Church, Number 2120, “Sacrilege is profaning or treating unworthily the sacraments and other liturgical actions, as well as persons, things, or places consecrated to God.”
This includes the church building itself, sacred vessels, linens, liturgical books, the crucifix, rosaries (and other sacramentals), as well as items such as the pulpit, the chairs, and so on. Added to this list are persons dedicated to God as priests, religious, those who enter sacred vows or have embraced the consecrated life. These persons and items are God’s own. It is an insult to God for us to profane them or use them for purposes other than the worship of God.
From the way God dealt with Belshazzar, we can clearly see that God does not joke with his own. Do I respect the church, do I revere holy items dedicated and blessed? Am I one of those who bring their phones to church for charging? Do I get up during the mass to answer a call even after its loud ringtone has caused distraction in the church? Do I even realize that I am just like Belshazzar when I do not give the things of God the respect they deserve?
Dear friends, on no account is it permissible to dishonour the things set apart for God. Even if we have to face the scorching fire of persecution. Jesus encourages us in today’s Gospel passage not to give up or bend when the hard times show up. There would be moments of trials but our endurance will win us victory in the end.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, increase my respect for what is yours. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Wednesday of the 34th Week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Daniel 5:1-28 and Luke 21:12-19).