YEAR A: HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF THE 33RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: ROSES AIN’T ALWAYS PROMISED IN CHRISTIANITY
BY: Rev. Fr. Jacob Aondover ATSU
HOMILY: READINGS: 1MACCABEES 1:10-15,.41-43.54-57.62-64, PSALM 119, LUKE 18:35-43
√•SUFFER FOR YOUR FAITH
√•EMBRACE STUBBORN TEMERITY
The first book of Maccabees was written about 100 B.C. primarily to record the deliverance of Israel that God worked through the family of Matathias (5:62). The Jews who have always been monotheistic, and whose culture was permeated by religion were on the brink of suffering both cultural and religious setbacks. Antiochus Epiphanes, the sinful offshoot (1Macc. 1:10), on his return from a military campaign in Egypt began a movement of forced Hellenisation; he offered sacrifices to the Olympian Zeus and desecrated the temple at Jerusalem. expectedly so, some Jews derailed from their true religion and embraced paganism, becoming slaves of impiety (1Macc.1:15). They profaned the Sabbath, sacrificed to idols and destroyed everything that preserved the culture and religion of the Jews. In fact, death was the sentence handed to anyone who remained faithful to God.
There has never been a time when Christianity was all rosy. Pains, misery, trials, temptations, persecution, ridicule, reviling and so on often times are the lots of those who follow Christ. In the face of all the aforementioned, what is expected of the true Christian? What would God have him do?
¶Shy away from our responsibilities, NO!
¶Hide or pretend not to be a Christian so as to save our heads; NO!
¶Be double faced or syncretic, with God when it is safe but denounce him when it is tough; still NO!
¶Rather, God would have us stay with him in undivided loyalty and utmost fidelity. Even in the heat of the Antiochian persecution, 1 Maccabees 1:62ff tells us their were many in Israel who stood firm and found the courage to defile the king’s orders. They chose death rather than contamination and of course they were executed.
Like the Israelites who found courage to resist contamination and die, we are challenged to be resilient in our faith and convictions. In the face of challenges and the obvious difficulties there are, we are called to love God and never denounce him to the death. We may want to remember what Paul tells us in Romans 8:18; “The sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us”. In our pain and anguish rather, we may choose to go after Jesus who has the power to liberate us from every pain, misery, ailment or predicament. We may choose to say with Bartimeaus: ‘Jesus, Son of David, have pity on us’ and Jesus, the solution to our problems will attend to us saying, ‘receive your liberation’. Then, only praise and thanksgiving shall we return to God in the words of the psalmist gives us life.
We pray for the grace to be stay faithful even when it hurts; we likewise pray Jesus deliver us from all our pains through Christ our Lord…
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