YEAR A: HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF THE 28TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: Only a Fool Thinks That There is no God
BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu
HOMILY:(Tuesday 15th October 2019. Read Romans 1:16-25, Psalm 19 and Luke 11:37-41)
“Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; for although they knew God they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:20-22).
I guess some of us have seen the short comedy by Emmanuella and Company. A professor tried to prove that God does not exist simply because God could not be seen or touched. The little Emmanuel having agreed with him said: “I also prove to you sir, that you are completely senseless.” “How?” The professor said. “This is because I cannot see nor touch your sense.”
The Psalmist puts it quite plainly: “Fools say in their hearts, ‘There is no God.”’ (Psalm 14:1). The problem with anyone who thinks or behaves as if there is no God is that they always think they are wiser than everyone else. As St. Paul puts it: “Claiming to be wise, they became fools.” (Romans 1:19-22).
Immorality and evil in our world today is simply a direct reflection of the fact that people no longer believe God exists. When I don’t believe that God exists or that I am accountable to Him for the way I live my life, I give in to my flesh. No wonder St. Paul says: “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity… Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men.” (Romans 1:24-27)
Coming to our Gospel passage, we hear Jesus referring to the Pharisees as fools not because they didn’t believe that God exists, but because they offered to God mere lip-service (notice – me), while their hearts were far from God. “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also?” (Luke 11:39-40).
Could it just be a mere coincidence that both our reading today mention the word “fool”? It means that we really need to examine ourselves to find out how we have been foolish. Have I denied God’s existence by displaying holiness in public only to fall back to evil in secret? Have I denied God’s existence by engaging in immoral behaviours such as those St. Paul describes in our first reading?
It is interesting that on this day, we celebrate the memorial of one of the Female Doctors of the Church; St. Teresa of Avila. The doctors of the church are those Saints whose writings and teachings are considered as authentic deposits of wisdom. According to the Universalis app, “Saint Teresa was born in Ávila in Spain and entered the Carmelite convent there at the age of 20, not because of any great attraction to the religious life but because it seemed the most sensible thing to do. At this time Carmelite convents were comfortable places. One was well looked after, had as much contact with the outside world as one wanted, and could keep one’s own possessions. With time, and despite ill-health, she made great progress in contemplative prayer and had a number of mystical experiences, which she treated with great suspicion since she felt that she was not nearly holy enough to be accorded them by God.
“Teresa’s prayer life led her to seek a more perfect life, and in 1562, in the face of much opposition, she founded a convent of Discalced Carmelite nuns in Ávila. “Discalced” (“shoeless”) signified their devotion to poverty. At length, in 1580, and with the support of King Philip II, the Discalced Carmelites were made independent and St Teresa was able to found more new convents. She died, worn out by her efforts, on 15 October 1582. St Teresa is an outstanding example of how the contemplative life can well up and overflow into action. In addition to all this, she wrote much on the subject of contemplative prayer and her writings are still standard works today. She was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI in 1970.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, free me from superficial faith. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Tuesday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Romans 1:16-25, Psalm 19 and Luke 11:37-41).