YEAR A: HOMILY FOR THURSDAY OF THE 27TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: Ask and You will receive the Holy Spirit
BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu
HOMILY: (Read Malachi 3:13-4:1-2, Psalm 1 and Luke 11:5-13)_
“For everyone who asks receives and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened” (Luke 11:10).
Our Gospel passage contains one of the most quoted verses of the entire Bible: “Ask and it will be given you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you” (Luke 11:9 or Matthew 7:7). We quote this verse at the beginnings of most of our prayers because it is a powerful faith-booster. It is a reminder that we are not praying in vain. It is quite comforting that this verse was Jesus’ conclusion of a story about a man who got what he wanted from his friend at night after asking persistently.
Nevertheless, when Jesus says we should ask, did He mean we could ask for just anything? What was Jesus having in mind when he said we should ask, seek and knock? The answer to this question can be seen in the lines that follow. Jesus said: “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13).
In other words, what we are to ask for, seek for and knock for is the Holy Spirit. When last did I ask for the Holy Spirit? How often do I deliberately seek the Holy Spirit? Do I even value the Holy Spirit?
In our first reading today, we come across the prophet Malachi. It is no coincidence that we just concluded the book of Jonah where we saw the depth of God’s mercy over the people of Nineveh. God spared the entire nation from destruction because they repented of their sins and decided to change. Today, we hear Malachi warning us seriously about taking that same mercy of God for granted. It is one thing to be truly sorry for one’s sin, but a different thing altogether when I deliberately commit sin just because I know that God is merciful.
God is merciful but at the same time, God is just. As Malachi puts it: “See, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings” (Malachi 4:1-2).
When we consider the level of evil in our world today, we begin to wonder whether God is aware of what is happening and why He seems so quiet. As the Psalmist says, God does not glory in the death of the wicked man. God is patient, he continues to give second chances again and again, but there comes a time when we must face the full consequences of our sins. There comes a time that what was said in whispers behind closed doors would be heard over loudspeakers on roof-tops (Cf. Mark 4:22). There comes a time that we must dance to the rhythm of the music we have been playing with our own hands. Never take God for granted.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, deepen my love for the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Thursday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Malachi 3:13-4:1-2, Psalm 1 and Luke 11:5-13).