HOMILY THEME: The Way to the Kingdom

BY: Fr Benny Tuazon


HOMILY: (Mt. 20:17-18) Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent, Day Fifteen (15) of Lent

In today’s Gospel Jesus was requested by a Jewish mother to assure her sons of good places in the Kingdom. Jesus responded by saying that the way to the Kingdom is not easy. Jesus Himself will show an example of the path towards that destiny. The prophet Jeremiah, in the First Reading, realized that. He was a prophet of doom. He never relented on proclaiming God’s message even if it will hurt his listeners. It did not also matter whether they are kings, government officials, or ordinary people. He admonished everyone and called them to conversion. As a result, many are plotting to hurt and kill him.

This part of the reading today speaks of his feelings of being deserted and unappreciated. He felt he did not deserve the threats much more dangers of being murdered. The way to the Kingdom is full of challenges and suffering. Jesus was honest enough to tell us that it will not be easy.

Glory passes through the cross. Suffering is a necessary experience in the Christian life. Actually, it does not only consists in physical sufferings, they can also take the form of realizing our weaknesses, failures, frustrations in changing people, difficulty in explaining things to others, etc. In our quest for goodness, at times, things do not fall in their proper places and people do not act accordingly. Our attitude towards these “sufferings” would be crucial. If we welcome them and accept them as part of our spiritual life, they can be sources of strength and learning experiences. Furthermore, they can also teach us a lot about ourselves thereby understanding more who we are and what we are capable of. Eventually, it should make us humble and open ourselves to God more. Failures are usually not the end of things. Successes come gradually and may come from a lot of failures.

Patience with ourselves, others, and God are necessary. Jesus said that glory is not merited but comes as a grace from the Father. It is a grace which comes to those who are worthy, meaning, those who had disposed themselves to God’s grace. The cross is a good source of that disposition. Jesus died on the cross as a sign of extreme humility, i.e. total submission to the Father. It is the perfect disposition that allowed Him the glory of the resurrection. We, too, by our suffering, will dispose us to God’s grace of glory. In other words, our eyes must be on God, suffering or no suffering.

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