WEEKDAY HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF THE 27TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME – YEAR B
HOMILY THEME: Child of God, Worry No More; God is Capable of Providing What is Needed.
BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu
_“For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it… But when he who had set me apart before I was born, called me through his grace, I did not confer with flesh and blood.” *Galatians 1:13-16*
Fear is a natural human defence mechanism. The reason why I wouldn’t put my hand in fire is that my body is programmed to fear the effect of the fire on my hand. The fear of getting burned and suffering from excruciating pain “protects” me from making such a bad decision. Fear is one strong determinant of our major decisions day in day out. However, there are good fears and there are bad fears; that is to say, some fears are completely unnecessary; some fears actually act as inhibiting factors for our personal spiritual progress and even our very health.
Why did Martha complain about Mary’s absence from the kitchen when Jesus was in their house? The simple answer is found in Jesus’ response: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the good portion which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42.
Jesus was basically saying to Martha, “Why are you afraid and worried about what I or the guests will eat? Have you forgotten I am the one who fed the five thousand? Don’t you think I have the power to make that food ready without your efforts? Do you think without Mary’s assistance, the food will not be ready?”
Even Luke tells us that Martha was DISTRACTED with much serving. We could easily get distracted in the course of our busy-ness with sacred duties. Martha was too busy to notice the extraordinary power at work inside her house. In her busy- ness, she didn’t realize she had started treating Jesus like one ordinary human being. As a result of this, her fears got the better part of her. Martha had chosen to succumb to fear.
Mary, on the other hand, chose the good portion. What is the good portion? Faith in God’s providence. This kind of faith is one that makes us completely relaxed like little children who fall asleep in the hands of their Mother. This faith cancels our fears and brings us inner peace. This faith assures us that our success does not depend on our hard work but on God’s grace. The good portion is having a firm trust in God’s power to make up for our inadequacies. The good portion is refusing to panic knowing that Jesus Christ is himself a guest in your house.
Our first reading today reveals another classic example of why we Christians cannot afford to be worried or scared. Paul, writing to the Galatians is confessing how he was determined to destroy the Church of God completely even at its infant stage only for God himself to arrest him on his way to Damascus and as if to make a mockery of him for having such an ambition, God turned him into Christianity’s greatest promoter. What does this experience teach us?
I often hear Christians express fears about the future of the Church saying things like: “If we don’t fight, Islam will soon take over our churches.” I have seen many draw analogies with the church in Nigeria for instance, to the church in Turkey. My brothers and sisters, can we really fight for God? Is God not strong enough to defend His own church? If God did not allow Paul to wipe out the church when it was barely beginning, do we assume God will fold His hands and watch this church die today? How many Christians fought with Paul while he was Saul?
Child of God, worry no more, the God you serve is capable and responsible. He knows exactly how to provide what is needed when it is needed regardless of your panicking and worrying. He knows how to protect that which He Loves. Jesus wasn’t joking when he said the gates of hell CANNOT prevail against his Church. St. Paul was not the only one with such a lofty ambition to destroy the church, history books tell us about the many others who have tried, some even from within the church itself. But then, where are they today? Gone, destroyed and perished along with their ideas and evil plans.
Only one thing is needed: Faith. Mary has chosen the good portion; to sit at Jesus’ feet in prayer and adoration, to listen carefully to Jesus’ words by meditating on the Bible, to trust deeply that in the midst of the chaos, Jesus is more than able to provide.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, free me from holding on to false fears. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Tuesday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Galatians 1:13-24, Psalm 139:1-3, 13-15 and Luke 10:38-42).
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