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YEAR A: HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY OF THE 7TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: Wisdom is Life.
BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu
HOMILY: “Whoever loves her loves life, and those who seek her early will be filled with joy.” (Sirach 4:12)
If asked to choose between a million dollars and a few wise words, which would take? Generally, we tend to underestimate the value of wisdom. We would rather go after the material things of life forgetting that without wisdom, all our wealth, power and fame are just as good as nothing.
Wisdom is life, the wiser we are, the better the quality and even the length of our life. Give a million dollars to a fool and in one year, he or she could be one of the poorest persons on earth. Give just one dollar to a wise person and in one year, he or she could be worth a million dollars. It is not by how powerful you are, it is not how much money or fame you have, it is your level of wisdom that guarantees your future.
Wisdom is like the human heart. It is a rather small organ compared to the size of the person and it is not as visible as other parts of the body but without it, the person dies off. The book of Sirach today teaches us to love and appreciate wisdom above anything else. “Whoever holds her fast will obtain glory… He who obeys her will judge the nations and whoever gives heed to her will dwell securely.”
Wisdom here has nothing to do with academic degrees, certificates or ability to pass speak many languages. Again the type of wisdom we are talking about here is not deception or ability to tell lies. The wisdom that is life is the wisdom of putting God first, it is the wisdom of living according to the mind of God; the wisdom of following God’s commandments. As our responsorial psalm says: “The lovers of your law have great peace.”
In today’s Gospel passage, John reports to Jesus how they saw a man who was not one of the twelve casting out demons in Jesus’ name. This man was operating an illegal miracle centre in that he did not come to register with Jesus; he did not even receive the necessary training; he was not validly ordained neither was he commissioned by Jesus.
The most painful aspect was that this man was doing something the disciples of Jesus could not do; recall that a few days ago, we read how a man brought his son to the disciples (while Jesus was up on the mountain of Transfiguration with Peter, James and John) but unfortunately it was not until Jesus came down and noticed the commotion that the little boy got healed.
If you were one of Jesus’ disciples, what would you do when you saw someone casting out a demon in your master’s name? I would even ask Jesus to proclaim a total ban on all such unregistered healing centres run by non-members of the team of disciples. But surprisingly, Jesus said: “Do not forbid him…” the disciples wanted to apply their authoritative power over this man but Jesus had a different approach altogether. For Jesus, so long as the man was able to cast out demons in His name, the name was to be seen as part of the group.
One thing we learn from this story is this: do not think or assume that your church is best or most authentic and that every other church must be closed down. Avoid condemning others just because they don’t attend your church. You may think you are doing the right thing by tearing other churches apart or by attacking their doctrines but in truth, you are simply making the mistake of the disciples of Jesus.
Really, it is not your business what others are doing in the name of Jesus, you do your own according to your conscience. Jesus did not say we should go about arguing with our fellow Christians or fighting them, Jesus said we should “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19) There is no competition in church.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, increase your wisdom in me as I study your word daily. Amen.
*Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Wednesday of the 7th Week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Sirach 4:12-22, Psalm 118 and Mark 9:38-40).