HOMILY THEME: Have a childlike heart and allow the will of God to prevail in your life.
BY: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
HOMILY: READINGS: Deut. 31: 1-8, Resp. Ps. Deut 32: 3-4, 7-9, Matt. 18: 1-5, 10. 12-14
There is in the Church a prayer we say: Jesus I love you. All that I have is yours; yours I am and yours I want to be. Do with me whatever you will. This prayer is supposed to be a prayer of faith in complete abandonment to the will of God. It is often said in the Church especially after reception of the Holy Communion as an act of faithful resignation to the will of God. In real life situation and in reality, our faith cannot accommodate this in fact. The problem is that to understand the will of God is not easy and when understood by the light of faith accepting it is almost impossible. The scripture said that as the heaven is far from the earth so is the will of God far from ours. Life has taught us that often times the will of God for us is contrary to what we desire, what we pray for and wish ourselves. This is why it is difficult if not impossible to accept his will completely.
Beloved, from the happenings in the first reading between Moses and God, one comes to stark reality of how painful and disgusting the will of God can be. Moses has for years suffered to lead the people of Israel to the Promised Land. He was insulted of planning with God to starve and kill them in the wilderness. They often times grumbled and murmured against him and his God. God wanted to destroy the people in anger but Moses interceded and instead asked that he prefers that his name be blotted from the book of life. The desire and prayer of Moses and his anticipated joy is that one day he will lead the people into the Promised Land and then joyfully say that at last I did not suffer in vain. Unfortunately the will of God for him was contrary to his expectation. God today has revealed to him that he (Moses) was not going to enter into the land he laboured for and desired. The fruit of his faithful labour shall be denied him. He was asked to relinquish his lot to another (Joshua). Abraham willingly and in joyful tone announced this painful will of God for him to the people of Israel. He presented Joshua to them and appealed for their support without any element of sabotage or animosity against him. He did not angrily present an obstacle or stumbling block to his realization of this divine plan of God. He prayed for Joshua for success and encouraged him never to be afraid but be of courage and trust in the providence of God.
Beloved, this is a food for thought to all of us in our journey of faith. How many of us can accept this the way Moses did? How many of us can relinquish his position and due for another to benefit without putting him in enmity with the people so that they can rebel against him and never allow him to succeed? How many of us can accept the will of God freely without question and aggression or grumbling? How many would be happy that another reaps the fruit of his own labour?
Beloved, it takes a faith that is childlike to achieve the perfect acceptance of the will of God, total resignation to his will and perfect surrender to whatever the Lord wills. To be the greatest as a Christian is to be childlike. To be childlike is to accept that the best shall be whatever the Lord provides. To be childlike is to accept that the best is to say Amen to whatever God wants to happen in our lives. It means to be happy with whatever we receive from the Lord. It is to have a spirit of abandonment and detachment from whatever we think is our due. It means not to begrudge anything we receive as a treatment from God. To receive God and his kingdom is to be a child in the heart. It calls for the heart never to despise any person as not qualified for God’s blessing or divine choice. To be a child means to try and discover the way back to the Father from wherever we are lost; it is to try to make ourselves available to be found.
We pray that we may have the spirit of self sacrifice and true love for others. We pray that we may never cling tenaciously to anything as a right but allow God to grant us whatever he wills. May God grant us the grace to be childlike in our followership of Christ so as to be rewarded for obedience and total resignation to his Holy will, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf