YEAR A: HOMILY FOR FRIDAY OF THE 1ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: What do Your Actions Say about Your Faith?
BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu
HOMILY: “…but the message which they heard did not benefit them, because it did not meet with faith in the hearers.” (Hebrews 4:2)
We tend to think of Faith in terms of what we stand to gain from God but the truth is that Faith is far deeper than that. As much as it is a sign of faith to shout “I receive it” to some powerful prayers, it is also a sign of faith to avoid sin because the same God from whom you are expecting blessing is the same God who gave you commandments on how to live. Claiming God’s blessings and at the same time rejecting God’s divine will is not a mark of faith, it is playing politics with God.
Faith goes beyond expecting all the positive things hoped for and being assured of things not yet seen. Faith is also visible. Faith is not just a creed. Faith is a philosophy of life. Your faith is a sum of the values you hold dear, values for which you would rather die than betray. Faith is a way of looking at life. Your Faith is not what you declare, your faith is what you do.
There is a modern-day crisis of faith among Christians. We claim to believe in God yet we live as if God does not exist. Our actions betray our faith. Or to put it in a better way, our actions reveal our true faith. We believe in God as a provider, a healer, a comforter but we don’t believe God has the right to tell us what to do with our bodies. We flock our churches today seeking for all the good things in life but evil continues to reign in our land, moral values continue to diminish and wickedness increase.
In today’s Gospel passage, Mark tells us that Jesus saw the faith of the Four Men who brought their friend to Him through the roof. It didn’t end there, Jesus also saw that this paralytic was filled with sin and he began by saying: “Your sins are forgiven.” Everyone was quiet but Jesus could hear loud and clear the thoughts of the scribes who were questioning Jesus’ authority to forgive sins.
What does this teach us? One, nothing is hidden from God. Just as Jesus saw the faith of the four men, He also saw the “faith” of the scribes who questioned in their hearts. We can never pretend before God. Secondly, repentance (cleansing of our sins) is more important than physical healing as well as any other material benefits we desire from God.
That Jesus granted this man pardon first even though He saw his condition shows that the paralysis of sin destroys us more than our physical paralysis. It also shows that physical healing begins from spiritual healing. It proves the point Jesus made when he said we should seek first God’s kingdom and all other things would be added unto us.
The book of Hebrews tells us that the word of God does no benefit to those who lack faith; those whose actions betray what they profess with their lips. Do not limit your faith to what you can get FROM God, have the faith also to live FOR God.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, may my faith reflect on my choices in life. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Friday of the 1st Week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Hebrews 4:1-5,11 Psalm 78, and Mark 2:1-12)