YEAR A: HOMILY FOR THURSDAY OF THE 4TH WEEK OF LENT
HOMILY THEME: Leave your burning wrath; relent and do not bring this disaster on us.
BY: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
HOMILY: READINGS: Exodus 32: 7-14, Ps. 106, John 5: 31-47
The scripture was right when it said that if God should mark our guilt no one would survive. St John puts it nicely when he said that if anyone says that he has not sinned, he is a liar and has no spirit of God in him. The Psalm complimented it by saying that all have sinned and became deprave there is no good one left, no not even one. James too agreed to the sinful state of man when he said: All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Man is susceptible and prone to sinning daily against God and neighbour especially in lack of trust for the other and disobedience against the commandments of God. Man’s impatient attitude and in trying to do things the way he wants and in quick and now mentality is always the bane of man. This was the doom of the Israel of Old in the first reading.
The people of Israel lacked patience and trust in God due to their lack of faith in the God who leads them. When Moses stayed longer than they expected, they thought that he would not come again because they have placed all their trust in Moses. Moses was for them the god they see and worship. Without him, they felt that their world has ended. They needed another to replace him quickly because they thought that his God may have kept him back or killed him. They wanted to do it for themselves in their own way. Aaron allowed himself to be used and be deceived into idol worship. Leaders and opinion leaders in the community must be careful not to dance the music of praise-singers and deceits. They shall be loving and caring but should not aim at merely impressing them and proving to them that they are better than their predecessors.
It is good to be of sound mind and be critical as well as rational before trying to please the people; if one is not careful, he will make great mistakes. Aaron has plunged them into the wrath of God by the making of the calf in place of the God who said he is a jealous God and would not like to share his glory with another god. The first reading witnessed the blazing anger of God and how he sent Moses away from his presence. The sins committed by others have communal effect that the first sufferer may not be the main people who committed it. Moses had it rough even when he was not part of those sins; but he cannot be extricated from his people. God was determined to destroy the people and leave only Moses to be the inheritor of his promise of the land of rest. It is good to have selfless and caring leaders like Moses who despite the sin of his people could plead on their behalf and rejected the great offer of being made great. Today a lot of people negotiate for offers in order to sell out the people under their care; once big promise is made for them, they quickly accept and give up the people that they are called to serve. Moses was a leader with a difference having the heart of Christ; he took God through a “repentance route and converted” him. How many of our leaders can stick their heads out to speak for us?
Beloved, the problem with the world is that we depend on human testimony for relevance. Even when Jesus spoke about John’s testimony for him, he said that he does not depend on that. Human testimony can be untrue and misleading and can be hypocritical and sycophancy. We must live our lives in such a manner that our life speaks for itself before God and man. When people’s life is not relevant, the words of God would not find a home in them and our belief would make no meaning since it does not correspond to our practice and life.
Beloved, let us pray and ask God to relent in his anger against us and never judge us according to our iniquities. We ask for his grace never to forget the God who father us and who take care of us. May we never look on any other god or impatiently succumb to pressure to offend God or be deceived by people to follow the wrong path, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf