YEAR A: HOMILY FOR FRIDAY OF THE 5TH WEEK OF LENT
HOMILY THEME: LENT NEARS ITS FINISH LINE; FAST FROM DESPAIR, YOUR PERSECUTORS WON’T PREVAIL.
BY: Rev. Fr. Jacob Aondover ATSU
HOMILY: READINGS: JEREMIAH 20:10-13, PSALM 18, JOHN 10:31-42
The tension between Jesus and the Pharisees continues. This tension is about his identity, his purpose, his activity; really, it is about everything Jesus stood for. Instead of appreciating the good things Jesus did, they busied themselves striving to assassinate his character hence turn the people’s minds against him. They (Pharisees) had hitherto enjoyed an unrivaled fame, respect and undeserved loyalty from the people. With the advent of Christ however, things fell apart for them, the people believed more, the truth advanced by Jesus and supported by the signs he worked. The jealous, aggrieved and vengeful Pharisees like the wicked people of Jeremiah’s time sought to denounce Christ and take vengeance on him. They were therefore poised to destroy him regardless of the many good things he did. Today they accuse him of blasphemy – his claim to be God’s son.
What marvels me however, is the fact that in the heat of this tension, many people came to Jesus still and many believed in him (Jn. 10:42). Again, they could not just arrest him, neither could they stone him to death as they wished for his time hadn’t come. God was with him like a mighty champion and his persecutors couldn’t prevail (Jer. 20:11).
Dearly beloved brethren, the story of Christ may be our story: are there not good people amongst us who are never appreciated? Are there not great advocates of charity in our midst who are blackmailed by the many evil men and women who wouldn’t want their status rivaled? Don’t we have men and women who wouldn’t do anything for the common good of man and wouldn’t allow others outshine them? Moreover, like Jeremiah, many of us Christians are hunted, persecuted and hated for our faith. Many of us are considered misfits, ‘out of place’, and outcasts by family, friends and society. We are denounced but God our mighty champion would never fail us. He did not fail Christ, he never forsook Jeremiah; and as unchanging as he is, he would not forsake us in our dry moments. Amen.
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