HOMILY THEME: obedience to God’s voice saves

BY: Rev. Fr. Anthony Igbekele


HOMILY: memorial of St. Francis of Assisi:

Scripture: 1st Reading: &; Resp. Psalm: Ps79,1-5,8-9; Gosp. Accl.: Ps95,8; Gospel: Lk10,13-16

Sin is disobedience to the expressed dictates of God. Sin is a free departure from the sovereign will. It is rebellion against the lordship and dominion of God. It is a repudiation of His claims over us.

Sin has consequences. It breaks the bond between us and God. It leads to disharmony in the created order. It brings about the alienation of man from himself, from others and from God.

Sin is devastating in its effects. It brings about shame, sadness, confusion, and death. It leads to deafness to the voice of the Lord and blindness to His ways that He wants us to follow. With sin, we become disgruntled, disloyal and dishonest. With sin, we see not with the eyes of God but with our jaundiced, corrupted eyes.

Sin has other consequences. It brings about disasters. It elicits curse. The dictates of a heart full of sin and evil is more sin and more evil.

The word of God in today’s first reading describes the terrible situation of sin and its consequences. We are warned by our loving God to beware of the evil that sin is and live lives worthy of our calling. We are told that if we turn away from sin and turn to God, we will be blessed for such decision.

The refusal to abandon their sinful ways and turn to the living God with all their hearts informed of our Lord’s rebuke of the cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum in our gospel today. Our Lord accused them of blindness and closeness of heart to the signs and miracles and portents that were done in them.

Despite all that was done in these cities, they refused to repent and turn to God. They shut their hearts from interior and exterior demonstrations of contrite and humbled hearts. They were possessed by the spirit of pride. They forgot that the humble soul was the abode of the Almighty. They rejected the message of the Lord. They were thrown down to hell.

Let us be wise. St. Francis of Assisi, whose memorial we celebrate today, was a very wise man in the things of heaven. At a very early stage of his life, he got the intuition that true life did not consist in what a person had but on who the person was and what the person did with the life of grace given freely to him. St. Francis repudiated the allurements of this world and clung solely to Christ our Lord in a life of simplicity, abject poverty and obedience to the divine will

His life was an incredible success. He gained and continues to gain souls for Christ the Saviour by the attraction of his holy life. In a world full of materialism, a world in which deprivation and want for the sake of the kingdom is viewed as a curse, St. Francis teaches us the lessons of a return to the highest ideals of gospel values, the values found in Jesus of Nazareth, who emptied Himself and became a slave.

Let us pray: “O God, by whose gift Saint Francis,  was conformed to Christ in poverty and humility, grant that, by walking in Francis’ footsteps, we may follow your Son, and, through joyful charity, come to be united with you.” Amen.

May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.

Rev. Fr. Anthony Igbekele

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