YEAR A: HOMILY FOR THURSDAY OF THE 2ND WEEK OF LENT
HOMILY THEME: NEVER DOUBT GOD
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
HOMILY: (Lk. 16:19-31) Thursday of the Second Week of Lent, Day Sixteen (16) of Lent
In today’s Gospel Jesus tells the explosive story of the poor man Lazarus and the rich man. Explosive because it gives a very strong message on trust in riches and trust in God. The rich man committed a very big blunder by ignoring Lazarus who was there all the time within his reach and sight. He had a lot of opportunities to be charitable to Lazarus who was content of waiting for some scraps which will be thrown his way. Ironically, in spite of his poverty, he was charitable to the dogs. In his poverty, Lazarus was able to be rich in goodness. What is the difference? Lazarus trusted in the Lord. No wonder he went straight to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man went to hades. His riches and his attitude of greed and lack of charity merited him punishment. He trusted none but his riches.
The First Reading (Jer. 17:5-10) also says the same point. Jeremiah was pointing out to the people of Judah their unfaithfulness to the covenant they had with God. Their trust in the Lord has gone. They had shifted to other kings, their prowess, and their riches. Jeremiah reminded them that curse waits for those who trusts in men. Trust in the Lord and faithfulness to the covenant (“I will be your God and you will be my people.”) are what they should have. Judah was subjected to a lot of tests. Their seeming weakness and prospect of defeat against their invaders made them compromise and agreed to a pact with foreigners. Yet God was always faithful to them. God never abandoned them.
The story of Jephthah comes to mind. Nearing defeat, he challenged God by promising he would offer the first woman he would see when he returns home if God will not let his army be defeated. It was uncalled for. God taught Jephthah a lesson. God called Jephthah’s offer. His army won. When he got home, guess who was the first woman he saw? Jephthah’s daughter! Jephthah was sad. He had to keep his promise. He told his deal with God to his daughter. His daughter only asked that she be given the time to grieve over her virginity. (During those times, a woman, to be fulfilled should bear a child. Thus, dying without a child comes across as a curse.) Jephthah learned his lesson. Never doubt God. Never even dare and challenge his faithfulness. He knows our needs and He will always be there.
How much do we trust in the Lord? Are we also guilty of shifting our trust in other people, in riches, in our intelligence, etc., than God when the going gets rough? God seems to be convenient when the going is good. trust means being with each other through thick and thin. It means being faithful to God no matter what. This season of Lent is a good measure. The temptations will be great. Our situation will most likely be made miserable by courtesy of satan. But we should assure ourselves of God’s everlasting presence. Let us recognize His presence and well on Him, always, ever.