YEAR A: HOMILY FOR FRIDAY AFTER ASH WEDNESDAY
HOMILY THEME: LENT: DAY THREE: FAST FROM RELIGIOUS FORMALISM
BY: Rev. Fr. Jacob Aondover ATSU
HOMILY: READINGS: ISAIAH 58:1-9, PSALM51, MATTHEW 9:14-15
Our world is where it is today not because people eat and drink too much! Rather it is so coarsened and evil courtesy of vices such as wickedness, wars, terrorism, impoverishment as occasioned by man’s avariciousness, marginalization of the underprivileged, hate, maliciousness which lead to anger and vengeance; character assassination, corruption and so on. As regards our dealings with God, we may afford to say that we have lost our friendship with God due to our transgressions, evil inclinations and constant sinning. We have derailed both spiritually and otherwise that is why God is calling us through the prophet Isaiah (58:1-9) to remember our sins and failings, and return to God with righteous hearts.
Friends in the Lord, God is condemning our religious formalism and the hypocritical fast that we practice all too often. We may take care to note that to God, fasting is far from genuine if our ways of life are not reformed. It does not make sense when we seek the Lord daily, craving to know his ways and understand his paths when we are complacently and comfortably wallowing in sin and evil. How can we seek fair judgment from God when we are most unfair and wicked to our brothers and sisters? Do we expect to be granted a place in eternity when we make others destitute? How would God lavish his goods on him that impoverish others leaving them hungry, naked and oppressed?
The call today is simple, God never spurns a broken and humbled heart (Ps. 51:19b); we are to return to him tearing our hearts in repentance for our previous misdeeds (Joel 2:12). That’s not all, our repentance must be matched with acts of kindness like; feeding the hungry, providing shelter to the homeless, ensuring freedom of all from oppression. It must be matched by our fasting from the many ills mentioned above and embracing ways of life that heal and build up the human society into God’s kingdom. Then, we call, the Lord will answer; and when we cry, he will say, here I am (Isa. 58:9). For this grace we pray through Christ our Lord…
FEED AND EDUCATE ONE