YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE 13TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
THEME: THROUGH YOU, GOD COMPLETE HIS PLANS FOR OTHERS
BY: Fr Boniface Ogonna
HOMILY: 1st Reading. Wis.1:13-15,2:23-24
2nd Reading. 2Cor. 8:7,9,13-15
We celebrate today the Lord who generously gave us life. So, he desires that we should prosper in the health of the body and mind. This was why he offered his son so that we might have a life to its fullest.
In the first reading, God reminds us of his plan and desire for us. This plan has not diminished in any way. Hence, He never gets tired of restoring us. As a loving father, the plan of God for us remains supreme. It is not a plan of death, but life eternal.
Jesus tells us: “Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers” (3Jn 1, 2). Yes, this is the desire of God for us. Just as sickness and death are only a physical corruption of the body, eternal life in Christ is the ultimate healing and restoration of the spiritual life. This eternal life resides in our imperishable soul, which bears the image of God’s nature.
There is nothing that can change God’s plan for us. Even when we desert him, this plan for prosperity and good health remains concrete. This was why he assured us that: “…I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future…” (Jer 29, 11).
Paul reminded us in the second reading us that God has generously given us everything. This was possible because “…The Lord Jesus was rich, but he became poor for your sake, to make you rich out of his poverty.” Therefore, God desires that as we prosper, we should be generous too.
Thus, Paul educates us on the principle of generosity. While he advised us to balance the need of others against our surplus, he does not mean that we should be generous only when we have a surplus to give. Giving what does not cost us “anything” might not give us the satisfaction of generosity. (2 Sam 24:24). Real generosity attracts God’s blessings and favors to those who give freely and cheerfully.
Gospel presents us with two miracles of Jesus. These miracles are pieces of evidence of the wish and plan of God for us. They teach us that while Christ desires to liberate us from all forms of captivities, we must have faith to receive our miracles.
Both Jairus and the woman never gave up. Instead, they waited patiently until God’s plan was fulfilled for them. The woman demonstrated her living faith through her action of touching Christ’s garment. She waited for twelve years, and when her chance came, she took it in faith. She was not afraid or ashamed of the crowd. Also, Jairus demonstrated his faith on behalf of his daughter by persistently inviting Christ until he visited his house.
In conclusion, it is the plan of God for us to prosper both in body and soul. However, we must be patient and walk into this plan in faith. Second, we have a role to play in God’s plan towards others. Hence, Paul tells us today: “You always have the most of everything…so we expect you to put the most into this work of mercy too.” So, while Christ seeks our welfare every day, we, too, must continually seek the welfare of others.
Fr Boniface Ogonna