YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE 20TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.”_ Jn 6:56
BY: Fr. Clem C. Aladi
GOSPEL: JOHN 6:51-58
*If God does not remain in your life, you may think it’s freedom and self-fulfilment but you simply empty and wretched.*
_”The wisest way to live is to live by the wisdom of God in obedience to his word and in following His footsteps”_
My dearest in Christ, may the peace and love of Christ be always with you. On this 20th Sunday, we have gathered to worship God and to pledge our fidelity in following Him. It is a wise choice to be here this morning because many have lost interest in following God because of the many evils in the world and scandals in the Church. Let us reassure ourselves today that we are cannot do without God. May our faith in God remain ever strengthened.
Today’s readings especially the gospel stress the fact that the Holy Eucharist, the perfect fulfilment of the symbol of the manna in the Old Testament, is the Food that gives us life forever. In last Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus declared that the Bread he gives is his Flesh. This Sunday, Jesus asserts that to eat this Bread is to have eternal life. The first and the second readings advise us to live more wisely in this perilous times, and it is only by living in Christ the bread of life that we can live more meaningful lives.
*To live wisely is to realise how empty we are without God*. In the Gospel Jesus says … _”I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me”._ The question that comes to mind is, do I really have life because of Christ? , is your life Christ centred or centred on something else?. People often find joy, fulfilment and life in things other than Christ Jesus, but someday they will realize that life without God is empty. To allow something or somebody to take the place of God in your life is to live perpetually in self-deception and defeat. Nothing and I repeat nothing in this life can ever satisfy the interior happiness and emptiness of man/woman. Every other thing you do be it going to casinos, nightclubs, drinking, smoking, fast living, fast food, fast cars, needless luxuries, unrestricted sexual fulfilment etc. can only give you temporary happiness and satisfaction that will gradually destroy you in the long run. The psalmist says in Psalm 42:1ff _,…”like the deer that thirst for running water, even so, my soul thirst for you oh God_ “. A soul that does not thirst for God, that finds fulfilment in worldly attractions, will forever remain thirsty for God because Jesus is the living water and the true bread that satisfies our hunger and thirst.
Every human being is blessed with an insatiable longing for God. We want God as our Father to hold us gently in His arms, keeping us safe throughout the dangers we face, but often we use substitutes as an escape from that need. We demand the right to do whatever we want to do whenever we want. *But let us remember the truth that unless we keep the hunger for God strong in our hearts, we will eventually realize the emptiness of our lives without Him.*
Let us keep Pauls admonition to Jews and Gentile Christians in the second reading in mind when he says _”watch carefully how you live, not as foolish persons but as wise, making the most of the opportunity, because the days are evil”._ It is foolishness to live without God. Certainly, there is a lot of evil in our world, many are drifting away from the faith, scandals are rocking the Church, the society is polluted with corruption and immorality. This is the opportunity to live as wise children of God, holding on to Christ our faith and being the light and salt of the earth we are called to be. Tomorrow may be too late to make a change. *Life is not all about finding yourself but it is about discovering who God created you to be*. May God’s wisdom guide us to make the difference in our world.
We draw life in Christ and live in him through His words and sacraments. Let us intensify our efforts in approaching God through these life-giving sources of His grace. Let us intensify our prayer for the Church and society. Let us pray for each other daily that God may keep us all safe from evil. Meditate on God’s word day and night and never cease in showing compassion and being charitable to others
May you find fulfilment in worshipping God and daily draw strength from Him. May you live in Christ and Christ in you. Do have a pleasant week filled with God’s grace.
I keep you and your family always in my prayers.
Fr. Clem C. Aladi