YEAR A: HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY OF THE 2ND WEEK OF LENT
HOMILY THEME: THE PERIL OF A SAINT
BY: Rev Fr Igbodekwe Livinus C
HOMILY: Reading: Jeremiah 18:18-20
Being a saint is a choice with a chunk of implications. It is a choice to be odd; to be unusual; to be irregular to a conventional lifestyle of worldly standard (Rom 12:1_2). And as a result, the saint finds himself in a tight corner in the worldly sphere. Not many share a sympathy with him for not many agree with his eccentric lifestyle. He sometimes feels alone among men but he is a colleague in the ethereal.
Jeremiah was such a saint in his own time and his own world. He had to pay the price for being uniquely above board and upright in speech and deeds. The following are the things he had to endure:
- Loss of friends: in the ordeals of a saint, a friend is far off for he fears being maligned with his saintly friend’s unfortunate peril. Jeremiah was alone and his opponents abounded just as Jesus was alone and his few friends were afar.
A Threat to be silenced: the words of a saint gives instruction. Though a saint may not be a priest, a king or a prophet yet he inescapably provides instruction of holiness to the priests, counsel to the kings and words for the prophets. Jeremiah was all these to the people of his day. His rivals wanted him silenced since if he be heeded then, they will become irrelevant and their deceptive ways would be exposed. So they would want the saint silenced. How? Either by libeling him or by killing him.
A Trap is Set for Him: the opponents use what the saint preaches against to set him up. “He says he is too transparent and honest with money, let us place a controversial money on his path to see what he will do.” “He says he doesn’t drink let us invite him to a party and see what he does with the “sweating” bottles”. “He says he doesn’t womanize, let us present him with the shapely, “hot” lady to see if he will close his eyes and keep saying his rosary”. These are the traps the saint get when the devil wants to blackmail his good reputation.
Yet he prays to his God for help: a saint cannot escape a prayer life. A saint that does is a captured saint. Jeremiah cried to God and the Lord stood between him and his opponents.
Dear saint, when you are feeling discouraged remember the saints who trailed the path before you. Keep God by your side in prayers and you will never walk alone.