YEAR A: HOMILY FOR THE 16TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: UNDERSTANDING THE KINGDOM OF GOD
BY: Fr. Cyril Unachukwu CCE
HOMILY: The Kingdom of God reflects the goodness of God which is by nature infinite. This goodness is made manifest in God’s constant and consistent direction of the universe to its proper end. Just like every other kingdom, the Kingdom of God is never without an Enemy. This Enemy, made manifest in the Devil and in all his cohorts, goes about effecting malicious distortions about the image and identity of God’s Kingdom and makes every effort to bring about retrogression to its growth and progress. In all of these, God is eternally most powerful and the spread and blossoming of His Kingdom unstoppable. May we live as to be part of God’s Kingdom in this world and in the world to come; Amen.
The three parables of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Gospel Reading of today (Mt 13:24-43) bring us deeper understanding about the Kingdom of God. Firstly, the fact that God’s Kingdom is borne out of God’s benevolence; out of the diffusion of the fullness of love that is manifest in the life of the Triune God; the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Secondly, the fact of the constant but futile attempt of the Enemy of God’s Kingdom to bring about the collapse of God’s reign; to cause confusion in God’s Household and to seduce and cause the sons and daughters of the Kingdom to fall from glory. Thirdly, the reality of the growth and expansion of God’s Kingdom irrespective of the futile effort of the devil to bring about the contrary. The Kingdom of God is not a sterile entity neither is it lifeless. Within this Kingdom, life is given and received, life is nurtured, life begets life and at the end of time, the fullness of life will be made manifest. The growth and expansion of the Kingdom of God are on course to evoke the establishment and the reign of God’s Kingdom in the hearts of all men and women of every race and tongue and for all generations. Fourthly, the truth that evil of the Devil. The Devil effects evil to distort the goodness of God and to suffocate the spread of goodness. And fifthly, the reality of the end of time when the Kingdom will be fully manifest in all of its glory and splendour because all we have now is a foretaste of the glory of God’s Kingdom. When that time comes, “the virtuous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father” and all those “that provoke offences and all who do evil” shall be thrown into the blazing furnace.
Since God is invincible; whatever He does is likewise invincible because agere sequitur esse (actions follows being). Hence, the Kingdom of God remains eternally invincible. The Devil may try his best to manipulate the progressive expansion of the Kingdom of Heaven, but all of his actions are in vain as the progress of God’s Kingdom knows no bounds. Also, God’s administration of His Kingdom is irreproachable. He does this with wisdom and in justice; in love and mercy! And further still, He is a patient King who understands the life-condition of His subjects. All of God’s disposition towards His Kingdom and subjects serves to teach the children of God’s Kingdom how best to live. In the words of the Second Reading (Wisdom 12:13, 16-19), “by acting thus You have taught a lesson to your people how the virtuous man or woman must be kindly to his or her fellow men and women.” Just like the King, we become invincible when we sincerely and freely make ourselves part of God’s Kingdom. How does one become a member of God’s Kingdom? God reigns wherever His will is done. This we partly see in the Lord’s Prayer; “your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth.” To form part of God’s Kingdom involves doing His will always wherever we find ourselves. Without the grace of God, humanity remains helpless and unable to please God. Without His divine assistance remaining with us, we cannot align our wills with the Will of God. Luckily however, as Saint Paul reminds us in the Second Reading (Romans 8:26-27), “the Spirit comes to help us in our weakness.” The Spirit of God protects us from the malicious darnel which the Enemy of God plants all around us. The Spirit of God also empowers us to discern and to do the will of God so as to make us experience His reign in our lives and around us. Our responsibility is to make ourselves available and habitable for the Spirit.
Heavenly King, make of us grateful and fruitful children of Your Kingdom. Through our style of life and the good actions performed by Your grace, may we contribute to the growth and expansion of Your Kingdom here on earth as to reign with You in eternity; Amen.
Happy Sunday; Fr Cyril CCE