YEAR A: HOMILY FOR THE 17TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: THE VALUE OF GOD’S KINGDOM
BY: Fr. Justin Nzekwe
HOMILY:If God should appear before you at this moment and ask you to make a request from him, what would you ask? What do you usually ask God to do for you each time you pray? Solomon as a king could have asked God for riches, health, fame, victory in wars, but he rather decided to ask for that treasure which money cannot buy. Solomon prayed saying, “Give your servant an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil.” He asked for wisdom, instead of material things. God was so pleased with his request that he gave him all the necessities of life, and above all, he also gave him wisdom and discerning mind which no one before or after him can have.
The best things of life is usually not material or temporal things. Wisdom is the greatest gift we can receive while on earth. It is profitable both in our relationship with our follow human beings, and our relationship with God. The knowledge of Christ is the greatest expression of wisdom. Saint Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians says, “we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser that man’s wisdom.” Knowing Christ enables to avoid sin and to align our lives to the path of God’s kingdom.
Today’s gospel reading compared the kingdom of God to a man who found a hidden treasure in a field, covered it and then left with joy to sell all he has in order to buy it. It is like a merchant who found a pearl of great value and sold everything he has to acquire the great pearl. As Christians, Christ is that great treasure and great pearl that we have to give up every other distractions in our life in order to follow him. Christ guides us to God’s kingdom each time we follow him. And the kingdom of God is a treasure hidden from the proud, and revealed to the righteous. Many saints who knew the value of this treasure which is God’s kingdom, willingly sacrificed their own lives and denied themselves certain pleasures for its sake. To enter God’s kingdom, we must first value it, and when we have found it, we must hide it in our hearts. As we have gathered today because of the eternal treasure we have found in Christ, may God remember all our sacrifices at the last days of our lives. And may God give us understanding and wisdom as he gave to Solomon, so that we may be wise enough to discern what is good for us, and the strength to remain faithful until the end of our earthly lives.
Sia Lodato Gesu Cristo!