YEAR A: HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY OF THE 1ST WEEK OF LENT
HOMILY THEME: LENT: DAY 8 – FAST FROM UNREPENTANCE, ENJOY GOD’S UNRIVALED MERCY
BY: Rev. Fr. Jacob Aondover ATSU
HOMILY: READINGS: JONAH 3:1-10, PSALM 51, LUKE 11:29-32
The name of God is mercy said Pope Francis. God’s mercy is best provoked by man’s repentance. Repentance touches the soul of God and he acts with utmost immediacy, not because of our merits but because he is compassion and mercy. The Lord’s mercy is greater than all the sins of humanity in my understanding. Only he who is unrepentant like Lucifer cannot merit God’s mercy and forgiveness. The prophecy of Joel 2:12-13 says, “Even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart…Rend your heart not your garments and return to the Lord your God for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love and relenting in punishment”. He forgives all sins.
We see how the Ninevites became contrite and humble before God when Jonah preached to them. The words of Psalm 51:19b played out well, God repented from the punishment he designed for them for he doesn’t spurn a broken and humbled heart. God is not a dictator or unmerciful judge who waits for us to sin so he could strike us; he readily forgives us whenever we return to him in humble repentance. Jesus Christ, the champion of mercy came calling man to repentance (Mk. 1:15), a call which many refused to heed. To this day, other than listen to him, we go about scouting for nonexistent miracles. We cover many kilometers moving from one man/woman of God to another when actually we should turn to God in purity and righteousness.
Our sins create a gulf in our relationship with God leaving him slow to attend to our needs. Little wonder Isaiah 59:1-2 asserts: “No, the hand of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. Rather it is your crimes that separate you from your God, it is your sins that make him hide his face so that he does not hear you”. We may do well therefore to strive relentlessly to be at right with God so that our prayers will reach God even before they are completed.
FEED AND EDUCATE ONE
God can forgive repentant kidnappers too. May they repent release those in their custody especially my classmate, Rev. Fr David Echioda.