YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE 21ST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (7)

YEAR B: HOMILY/REFLECTION FOR THE 21ST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

THEME: AND IT MUST BE YOUR DECISION

BY: Fr. Christian Eze

 

HOMILY:

First reading – Joshua 24:1-2, 15-18
Second reading – Eph. 5:21-32
Gospel – Jn 6:60:69

Indeed, choice is one of the most important things in human life. God created man a free being. Freedom, a free gift of God, is what makes us special among other created things. We all crave to be ourselves, I mean to exercise this gift of freedom thereby always longing to choose for ourselves. Unfortunately, the very first time humans made use of this freedom to choose, he made a very wrong choice. In Gen 3, read how God gave order to man and the later chose to do otherwise. It was such a painful one that we were told God regretted ever creating man (Gen 6:5-6). I would think that God regretted leaving man free. Yet, He never went back on what he has made to be so. Man remained free. Thus in many things we do, including our worship of God, our day to day activities, choice must be involved. In life, we can bear the circumstances we chose by ourselves more than what we were forced into. You can bear the wife you chose more than that which your mother or father asked you to marry. We do not validly wed anyone who cannot make choice of who to marry.

Today, we can observe that God wants us to let it be our own decision to choose Him as our God. Joshua asked the people “choose you this day whom you will service” – Joshua 24:15. Jesus too, in today’s gospel wanted everyone who would be His follower to let it be their own decision. Notably, there were antecedents before any of the decisions was demanded. In the first case, Joshua gave them a brief history of what Yahweh did for their fathers. In the second instance, after what seemed hard a teaching about eating the body and drinking the blood of Jesus, many left. It was then for the disciples to decide either to leave too, or to stay.

We too have come to a point where we must serve God with conviction and not out of a here say. It is one thing to be born a Christian; it is another to choose to remain one. It is one thing to be born a Catholic; it is another to choose to remain one. To be born a Christian, could be an accident. To decide to remain one is a decision. Are you just a follower of Christ because you were born into it? Decisions are made after due consideration of important factors. Concerning our call to decide for God may be Peter’s own reason can help us.

For Peter and the others, the reason was “no one else to go to; Jesus has the message of eternal life”. Yes, but it depend on what one seeks. But I think Jesus has everything good we may look out for. He has the forgiveness. He has the guidance. He has the peace. He has the answer to our every question. Peter and his companions have experienced Jesus in many of these human needs. They could not but trust Him and decide for Him. Have you been able to identify Jesus as the One who holds the key to it all? Worthy to note, it is not as if there will not arise a moment, a tough time when we may wonder if we have really made the right decision. John the Baptist while in the prison sent his disciple to go ask Jesus if actually he was the One expected – Matt. 11:2-5. In such moment, let us not give up. Rather let us ask Him for the courage. He would supply. He would make us more to stand strong all times. It must be our decision to choose to stay with Jesus.

OUR SONG TODAY ONCE MORE, MY SOUL, THY SAVIOUR, THRO’ THE WORD,

Once more, my soul, thy Saviour, thro’ the Word, Is offered full and free; And now, O Lord, I must, I must decide: Shall I accept of Thee?

Chorus I will! I will! I will, God helping me, I will, O Lord, be Thine!

Thy precious blood was shed to purchase me —

I will be wholly Thine!

By grace I will Thy mercy now receive, Thy love my heart hath won;

On Thee, O Christ, I will, I will believe, And trust in Thee alone!

Thou knowest, Lord, how very weak I am, And how I fear to stray;

For strength to serve I look to Thee alone The strength Thou must supply!

Chorus

And now, O Lord, give all with us today The grace to join our song;

And from the heart to gladly with us say: “I WILL to Christ belong!”

Chorus

To all who came, when Thou wast here below And said, “O Lord, wilt Thou?”

To them, “I will!” was ever Thy reply: We rest upon it now

Chorus

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