YEAR A: HOMILY FOR THE 13TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: CHARITY TO GOD’S MINISTERS AND ITS REWARD
BY: Rev. Fr. Jacob Aondover ATSU
HOMILY: READINGS: 2KINGS 4:8-11.14-16a, PSALM 89, ROMANS 6:3-4.8-11, MATTHEW 10:37-42
Two themes run through our liturgy of the word: Charity (to God’s ministers) and its reward; and True Discipleship. Would there be Christianity if it is devoid of charity? Personally I’d say NO! Also, if I may ask is he/she Christian who doesn’t truly follow Christ – through pain and gain? Now too I’d answer NO, he/she is no Christian. Today therefore is a call to remember how we who died with Christ are supposedly, new creatures and should walk in his path, paths of charity and true discipleship.
There is this age old saying that ‘It pays to be good’, this saying is made manifest in Elisha’s reward or blessing to the Lady of Shunem. She was at first charitable to Elisha and his cohort without knowing who he really was; she gave them food and drink. Later she supposed him to be a holy man of God and accorded him a decent accommodation thereby earning for herself the one thing she looked for only God knows how long, a child (2Kgs. 4:8-11.14-16a). The little good we do to a man or woman for being a fellow human cannot go unrewarded, more so when done to a minister of Christ; the reward will be enormous. This resounds the story of Abraham and the three strangers; how he was charitable to them not knowing he was being charitable to God himself. Of course, he was reward with a son, Isaac (Gen. 18:1ff). We may do well to be advocates of charity, charity to those we know, those unknown to us, the less privileged and of course, God’s ministers.
Jesus in the second part of today’s gospel (Matt. 10:40-42) calls us to be hospitable and charitable to all his ministers – priests, prophets, pastors and other ministers of his. He further stresses how unfailingly rewarding doing this could be. “…he/she shall not lose his/her reward” (Matt. 10:42). In the first instance, welcoming a man of God and treating him kindly translates to welcoming and treating Jesus kindly and consequently doing same to God himself. Many of us are aware of the story of Martin of Tours, how he shared his cloak with a cold and worn out man on the streets only to later discover it was Christ he shielded from cold. We may learn from Christ himself who was selfless and charitable enough to leave his kingly state and embrace the human state and save us.
The world my dear brothers is a very fertile ground for the cultivation of this needful crop or plant of charity. We have countless orphans in our neighbourhoods, many sick in the many hospitals and nearby homes; there are many school dropouts, a consequence of lack of funds (money); these we see and their stories are not alien to us, we may lend a helping hand and earn God’s blessings. What about the ministers of Christ, we are challenged to support and encourage them. God will not forget to bless us.
May I exhort us to be true disciples of Christ, loving him to the Cross and standing with him to the death. May I also challenge us to embrace charity for God’s blessings are always on those who do good and act kindly towards those in need.
HELP SOMEONE TODAY