YEAR A: HOMILY FOR FRIDAY OF THE 27TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: In the end, Truth Alone Prevails.
BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu
HOMILY: (Read Joel 1:13-15, 2:1-2, Psalm 9 and Luke 11:15-26)
“If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household! So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known.” (Matthew 10:25-26)
Someone once said: “There are only two days the whole world would speak well of you, the day you were born and the day you will die. In between, you just have to manage!” This saying is so true that it even applies to Jesus Christ himself. It can be very painful and somewhat distressing when people carry false rumours about you and even interpret your good intention as an attempt to do harm. That Jesus who is God could be falsely accused, it means that none of us is free from such.
Jesus’ response to this false accusation brings out a point – AT THE END, ONLY TRUTH REMAINS. One day, all the secrets will be exposed and what was hidden will be known to all.
However, beneath this false accusation is a very disturbing reality – we have a tendency to fear demons more than God. By accusing Jesus of operating by the power of demons, they were indirectly saying only demons have the power to cast themselves out or that Jesus is not as powerful as the demons.
Jesus responded by saying: “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his castle, his property is safe. But when one stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away his armour in which he trusted and divides his plunder.” (Luke 11:21-22). In other words, demons might be powerful but God is more powerful, demons might be the strong man fully armed but God is the one stronger who attacks and overpowers them.
To this day, we Africans fear demons (evil spirits) more that we fear God. You have sleepless nights when a juju priest threatens your life but you see nothing wrong with picking up and answering phone calls right there in church during mass. There have been cases of persons who steal money, bags and other items inside the church yet those same persons will dare not cross a tree on which is hung a red and white cloth. Someone once suggested that officeholders in Africa should no longer be made to swear by the Bible when assuming their new offices but by the shrines of the deities of their native towns stating that by so doing, there would be no more looting of public funds and all these anomalies we see so rampant among public officeholders.
It is sad to see Christians who are not afraid of telling lies even while holding the Bible thus revealing that even though they profess the faith and attend church activities, deep within them, they do not actually believe in God. We need to really examine ourselves today. Do I still fear God? Or better put, do I believe that God is stronger than witches and wizards, demons and principalities? Do I believe there is more power in the Bible, in Holy Communion, in the Blessed Sacrament than a combination of all the strongest of the shrines of the local gods today?
If we are honest, our answer to the above would be strongly in the affirmative. No wonder Joel in our first reading today tells us to return to God with sackcloth and lament. We have so failed God that we no longer fear or respect Him. We only remember to use His name when we need favours but we forget Him when it comes to obeying His commands. We show God so much disrespect by our strong belief in the various “beelzebuls” of our time.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, I repent of my fears and falsehood. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Friday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Joel 1:13-15, 2:1-2, Psalm 9 and Luke 11:15-26).