YEAR A: HOMILY FOR FRIDAY OF THE 5TH WEEK OF LENT
HOMILY THEME: How to Respond in Moments of Adversity.
BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu
HOMILY: “The Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, ‘I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of these do you stone me?’” (John 10:31-32)_
Jesus Christ was working miracles and people were happy to receive theirs. For them, Jesus was a one great miracle worker, they could not read between the lines, they could not perceive that the miracles were signs; pointers to a greater reality – God in the midst of men. They probably compared Jesus to other miracle workers without realizing only God could do this much. When Jesus eventually revealed his divinity, they picked up stones to throw at him.
It is funny. When people start fighting you, they suddenly forget all the good you have done for them in the past! So sad. Even those who received the miracles joined in shouting “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” Moments like this are such to come. Such moments come as tests to us.
If you want to know a man’s true character and level of faith, watch the way he behaves in times of adversity, in moments of anger, provocation or failure. For most of us, the animal in us comes out. We begin to say things and behave in ways that are, to say the least, totally unchristian. Both Jeremiah and Jesus were provoked in our readings today but see their reaction.
Jeremiah prayed a prayer of surrender. He asks God to fight on his behalf: “O Lord of hosts, who test the righteous, who see the heart and the mind, let me see your vengeance upon them for to you have I committed my cause.” (Jeremiah 20:12). He even goes on to sing despite the pains in his heart: “Sing to the Lord; praise the lord! For he has delivered the life of the needy from the hand of evildoers.” (verse 13)
The song of Jeremiah reminds me of Paul and Silas had the faith to sing praises to God while in prison. Their singing must have touched God’s heart so much so that He caused their chains to fall off. Unlike the Israelites, Paul and Silas did not complain about their situation. Sing praises to God even when things are rough and watch what happens.
Dear friends, the battles we face may look physical but as St. Paul would say, we do not wrestle against flesh and blood. (Ephesians 6:12). Surrender to God and Let Him Fight for you. Do not go fighting people or carrying hatred and animosity in your heart.
Jesus is God, He had the power to call down fire to burn down those who were exchanging words with Him. He only needed to say one word and all his persecutors would drop down instantly, but as John tells us, Jesus “escaped from their hands and went away across the Jordan.” Jesus did not use the power he had to fight back his enemies; a great lesson for us. He only asked them, “why are you stoning me despite all the many goods works you benefited from me?”
Are you going through adversity? Then pray, surrender to God and just walk away. Use your spiritual power for good, not for evil. Be like Jeremiah and Jesus.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, in my anguish I call to you, save me lest I perish. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Friday of the 5th Week of Lent. Bible Study: Jeremiah 20:10-13, Psalm 18 and John 10:31-42).