YEAR A: HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF 14TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: A Rich Harvest but Only Few Labourers
BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu
HOMILY: Genesis 32:23-33, Psalm 17 and Matthew 9:32-36
“Your name shall no more be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed” (Genesis 32:28).
There are two categories of people in life: those who complain and criticise continuously and those who know how to make the best of their circumstances in life; that is, those who take advantage of whatever they find themselves in.
While Jesus was going about healing the sick and freeing those oppressed by demons, some persons from among the crowds were busy running their mouths, criticising Jesus, saying He is doing all this by the power of the prince of demons. Honestly, there are some persons who are just impossible to please. There is nothing you do that would not warrant their attack. The best thing to do is to simply avoid these persons. Whatever you do, they must talk.
On the other hand, there is Jacob in our first reading who said to the man he had wrestled with all night: “I will never let you go unless you bless me.” It is interesting to note that despite the wrestling all through the night, Jacob did not complain, instead, he thought of a way to make the best of his circumstances. Jacob despite having been blessed tremendously by his father Isaac asked for more blessings.
The blessing Jacob got was a change of name. Jacob was given a new name: Israel, for he had successfully wrestled with God and man and prevailed. Jacob’s life would never remain the same again. His new name, Israel to this day has become synonymous with all the blessings God promised to Abraham.
Dear friend, which category do you belong? Do you constantly catch yourself complaining about others; carrying stories which you have not verified; saying things about people which you would not like to be told about you? Or are you a Jacob who knows how best to take advantage of whatever may be his or her situation? When last did you ask for a blessing from your parents or from an elderly person?
When Jesus saw the huge crowds of people in need of healing, He was so moved with compassion because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Those who were supposed to shepherd the people, bring them to God, pray for them and attend to their spiritual needs obviously had become distracted by other things. Jesus called them hypocrites; white-washed tombs, blind guides. To this day, the church and society continue to suffer the brunt of bad shepherds.
The harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few. Jesus says we should pray for more labourers. Even Jesus Himself was not the complaining type. He saw the problem at hand and immediately thought about a solution. He suggested the cure for poor leadership; prayer! Stop criticising, let us get down to our knees and begin to pray. Pray that God sends more labourers into the harvest. The beauty of praying for more labourers is that by so doing, we open our very selves to the call of God.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, I will not let you go unless you bless me. Free me from my sicknesses and limitations and use me as your instrument to bring freedom and salvation to others, Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Tuesday of the 14th week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Genesis 32:23-33, Psalm 17 and Matthew 9:32-36).