YEAR A: HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF THE 20TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: I have called you; go in the might of God to deliver your people.
BY: Rev Fr Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
HOMILY: READINGS: Judges 6: 11-24, Ps 85, Matthew 19: 23-30
The human life on earth is a mystery and can become very threatening at times. Whatever that happens in our lives has a reason; the reasons may be from us or from God. We may be the cause of our problems or God may have willed the situation to be so. In today’s first reading, the people of Israel found out that life has turned sour for them and that things have fallen apart since the centre does not hold any longer. They were worried about why life has been painful for them. Most often in our lives we find ourselves in such predicament like this. We try to find the source of our problems but often looking outward and so often we point accusing finger on someone as the source of our misfortune. The truth remains that in all these states of confusion God is in the known and has a plan about it.
Beloved, from the previous days’ readings it was clearly pointed out that each time Israel forsook their God and disobeyed him greatly especially in infidelity in the worship of other gods, God angrily abandons them to their own fate. What really can man do well and gain devoid of God? This led to so many defeats in wars that Israel suffered. In all these Israel refused to learn from their mist mistakes and refused to take responsibility over their ill fate. This is seen in the question of Gideon thus: If the Lord is with us, why then has all this befallen us? He went further to speak in rhetoric form as if he is ignorant of their predicament by asking: And where are all his wonderful deeds which our fathers recounted to us, saying: “Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt? But now the Lord has cast us off, and given us into the hands of the Midian” It is noteworthy that the people of Israel remembered the good treatment and signs and miracles that their fathers enjoyed from God. It means that they know that in God is the provision of every good gifts and blessings. But they did not ask the necessary question: How did our fathers behave before God or how did they follow God? They could not also tell themselves the truth that their ways and dealings and those of their fathers were not the same. They could not tell themselves the truth that their fathers were more faithful to God than them. It is good that we ask the important questions and accept the truth about ourselves when things go wrong and stop looking outward for the cause of our predicament.
Beloved, despite all the infidelity of man yet the loving mercy of our God keeps visiting us from on high. God from every generation, from every family, from every congregation and from every nation, tribe and tongue chooses someone and equips him with necessary graces to act as a liberator of his people. Today God has chosen Gideon to liberate his people. God filled him with power and might and sent him to save his people. It is important that we recognize the one God has chosen in our midst for some special work. The one chosen should also accept being chosen and be courageous enough to go about executing the plans of God. The chosen must remove doubt and fear and swing into action believing that God who called him shall never fail him. As a specially chosen one in the community of humans at any level, be like Gideon and destroy all evil altars that evoke causes and push us to retardation and then build a divine altar in replacement. When Gideon got convinced of his divine role, he built an altar to sacrifice to God and attract his mercy upon the land. The chosen must have a divine link with God as to discharge his duty effectively. For Gideon to do the relevant and do it well he has to give up all encumbrances and whatever that is not necessary in the divine plan. Whenever any person in human eyes become very rich and amass unnecessary wealth; those things would obstruct the right actions towards God. This is why Jesus spoke against the richness of this world as against divine riches. For the disciples to claim reward, they had evidence of detachment and things they sacrificed for the things of heaven and that was why Jesus assured them of receiving the blessing in hundred of folds. But for those who have actually not left anything for the option of God, what would they receive on the last day?
Let us pray that we may live in such a manner that we may become the choice of God and be equipped to liberate our people. Let us ask God to grant us the grace to do the divine mission God has allotted us and courageously accomplish it. May God make us humble to accept the ones God has chosen in our midst and offer them the necessary help and support to do their God-given duties. May God help us to have something of this world to give up for the divine option, Amen.
Rev Fr Callistus Emenyonu, cmf