YEAR A: HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF THE 12TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: Make sacrifice for peace and be blessed.
BY: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, CMF
HOMILY: READINGS: Gen.13:2,5-18, Ps.14, Mat. 7:6,12-14
In the beatitude Jesus uttered words of blessing for those who seek peace. It can be recalled that at the entrance of the birth of Jesus on earth, the angels sang of peace for people of good will on earth. The parting gift of Jesus to his disciples was peace. His post resurrection greeting and gift was peace. Peace is the evidence of unity and justice.
Wherever there is unity and justice peace obviously becomes the visible dividend. Peace is divine and is given gratuitously. Peace is of two kinds: peace that the world gives and peace that Christ gives. The one of the world is incomplete and very temporal while that of Christ is total and everlasting.
Beloved, no one can achieve perfect and divine peace without sacrifice.
For peace to reign and be lasting someone must do the constant and great sacrifice. When you expect all to do the same sacrifice before peace can be made then it will be illusive. When you expect everybody to be just and sacrifice in equal measure then peace will not be realized. Peace cannot come where people seek their due and their right, where people apply too much sense and cleverness, where people are tricky and cheats. It cannot be realized where people are all wise and selfish but where someone takes it as a duty and his right to carry the cross for peace to reign. It comes when someone is ready to act a fool and a loser. It can be realized when someone is ready to forfeit his right and allow the too wise, too jealous, to selfish, to tricky and avaricious and gluttonous to have his way. This was what happened between Abram and Lot his nephew. Remember that it was Abraham that took Lot on apprenticeship and trained him. It was Abram that catered for him and provided him with the initial cattle he started farming with, call it the seed money. Abram was older and the leader and by right should take precedential position and right.
Beloved, seeking peace, justice and unity does not make someone a fool or a coward but the wisest and strongest. No one should show his strength to the vulnerable or the powerless. When you beat the young , the poor, the less privileged and the vulnerable you have not achieved anything than foolery and mediocrity. You don’t show your might in your home and among your closest relatives; it’s a sign of illiteracy and lowness of integrity. Abram showed maturity, spirituality, moral soundness and righteousness to Lot by his endurance and forbearance of the idiosyncrasies of Lot.
Beloved, there is always a price for taking the lowly way to peace. There is also a price to pay for negativity of life and being difficult and stubborn. It is the Lord who brings poverty and riches, he blesses and curses and no one can change what he has willed for and to someone.
Blessings can be delayed but not denied. God’s reward is always for the just and the righteous. It is known from the advancement of this story that Lot lost it all while the end of the first reading showed God’s rewards in superabundance to Abram, very unprecedented and unreckoned ever. The left over piece was blessed for Abram and his descendants inherited it. Lot had his names wiped off and descendants depraved because of his greed and insensitivity.
Beloved, the psalm told us about the criteria of receiving blessings from the Lord and rewards from God. The man with clean hands and pure hearts who desires not worthless things and who does no wrong to his neighbour. Lot behaved like the greedy dog of the gospel and so does not deserve good things from God while Abram entered the door of divine blessing by the narrow gate that suffered him through conscious sacrifice. We must hearken to the biblical admonition of treating others the way we want to be treated because what is good for the goose should be good for the gander. Whatever you know you would not like, never visit another with it. Think always of others good, justice and peace.
May the Lord grant us the Christian heart to love justice, peace and righteousness and the grace to work towards its realization. May we desist from and reject the urge to be selfish, ungrateful and greedy. May God grant us the heart to cherish honest sacrifice and readiness to forfeit earthly things in search of divine blessings, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, CMF