YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE 21ST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY
HOMILY THEME: WILL YOU ALSO GO AWAY?
BY: Fr Emmanuel Uchechukwu Muodebelu C.S.Sp
(Joshua 24:1-2a, 15-17,18b; Ephesians 5:21-32; John 6:60-69).
Every human being in life has a dark moment in his or her life story. This is the critical period of life when the person can either make the right or wrong choice. It is always very difficult at this point in time because most people make easy and wrong decisions. We really need the presence of God at this period to be firm and make a better choice. Choosing to be steadfast with God is really difficult. This is called the crisis stage in life. This crisis stage are when our individual life, marriages, families, professions, vocations and other carriers are tested. At this moment, it is always difficult for us to be patient and listen to the voice of God. This is because we are always desperate to get out of the situation quickly. This was really the situation the Israelites found themselves during the journey to the promised land. That was why they could not have patience with God, and often decided to look for other god to serve.
It was because of their experiences during the journey to the promised land and how they abandoned God at the moment of difficulty that Joshua tried to renew their covenant with God before he died. He told them "if you be willing to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the river, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord"(Joshua 24:15). Joshua told them this because they fail severally during triying moments of their life. Therefore, reaching the promised land does not guarantee the end of trials.
In the Gospel of today, most of the disciples were also doubting and murmuring when Jesus stated that He is the bread that came down from heaven. He therefore, invited to eat His body. Their reason for objecting was the same as that of the multitude. They thought he was a mere human. Most of the disciples drew back when he made the claim. Jesus asked the apostles, "will you also go away? Simon Peter answered him, "Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God”! (John 6 : 69).
Brethren, Peter did not understand what Christ meant by eating his flesh, but he was ready to accept it as coming from one who had the truth and was the Holy one. This is the demonstration of absolute faith and total trust in God. We cannot go to God or please Him without our faith in Him. Faith in God is contrasted with worldly knowledge. The murmuring disciples have only human knowledge. Their minds are earthbound and determined to remain earthbound.
Child of God, Jesus is asking you today, will you also go away? In your time of trials and confusion about life, when you have crisis in your marriage or family, because of childlessness in your marriage, in your joblessness, because of the death of your beloved one or only hope, in your financial difficulty, in your sickness and all other challenges of life; will you also go away? Joshua promised that he and his household will worship the living God. Peter said, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God." What is your response at the moment of crisis? Do you remain faithful and love God as Paul wrote in the second reading. Do you stand firm as Joshua bearing in mind that there was a time things were good; and it will still be better in the future? Do you recall that you baptismal and confirmation covenant with God? Do you have trust in the power of Jesus in the Eucharist? Or, are you earthbound like the disciples who abandoned Jesus? Do you also go away? Do you go to look for human solutions, or listen to bad advice from bad friends? Do you look for solution outside God? Patient and faith in Jesus Christ is the only way out. Let us follow Jesus our master with faith. Either Jesus or nothing. Jesus is our all.
Happy Sunday friends.
Fr Emmanuel Uchechukwu Muodebelu C.S.Sp