HOMILY THEME: There is reward and punishment for whatever attitude we put up.

BY: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf



READINGS: Num. 11: 25-29, Ps. 19, James 5: 1-6, Mark 9: 38-43, 45. 47-48

In this world it is obvious that whoever sends someone on errand would demand a reply or account from him and every instructor/teacher who is to promote his student to a better grade or level must give tests and expect the best answer or result in order to do just that. No one comes into this world by himself and no one comes here without a mission from God who sends us all to this pilgrimage centre called the earth. As in the case of a sender of errand or teacher, so it is with God. He watches all our actions here on earth and all we produce as behaviour are marked on his score board and shall be used to reward or to punish us.

In the first reading, the gifts God gave freely to Moses without any merit of his was given out in a little proportion by the same God to others such that the seventy elders for once shared in Moses’ prophetic gift. The same God allowed two other men to exercise such gift; Medan and Eldad and this was at God’s own wish and right to do so. The same God who never consulted Moses before the gift did so to the two young men but Joshua and his likes had to question God for extending such gifts to others. Moses being a man filled with the wisdom and knowledge of God declined from their lure to jealousy and resentment. He refused to heed to their wish to stop them practicing God’s gift. This same scenario repeated itself in the gospel where the Apostles of Jesus led by John forbade a man who was exercising his God’s gift because he does not according to them belong to their league or union. Christ like Moses rebuked them for such act of jealousy and lack of recognition, respect and accommodation of others’ gifts. In the world, a lot of people prevent others from rising up to greater heights or to measure up with them. We find the pull-others- down syndrome reigning in the life of many even Christians and those who were supposed to know better in Christian life.

Beloved, it is surprising and scandalous to see Christians who believe that the exercise of some spiritual gifts and authority in the house of God is their sole preserve and they possess the power to dish it out to whomsoever they count worthy or who accept to belong to their “cult”. How can human being decide to choose for God who should belong to him and whom he should choose for whatever function/gifts?. These are the likes of Joshua son of Nun and John the apostle. There are a lot of behaviours we put up in the house of God and in this world that God frowns at; these attitudes are examination questions for God to mark us and record us in his score board. Many decide to cheat on others according to James in the second reading, treat workers inhumanly and with injustice. This attitude and others like scandalizing the little ones and denying others charity are condemned by James in the second reading of today. James reminds us that there is a day of judgment when all that God reckoned will be used to either reward or punish. People can live luxuriously at the expense of others and enjoy their loots and booty, but the truth is that they cannot escape divine punishment. Many innocent and righteous people can be humiliated and killed by the powerful in the society, but they cannot get away with it. Many priests today are kidnapped and killed for condemning political insensitivity of mafia politicians and are monitored in the house of God by these ungodly men. Many can scandalize others in the Church and society by the type of life we lead, yet one day we shall pay for it. But those who do good, render help to God’s work and his chosen ones and his people in general shall receive the prophets’ reward. Beloved, let us know that the precepts of the Lord are perfect and just and gladden the hearts of the righteous on the last day. Let us learn to fear the Lord and respect others; may we find instructions from the Lord’s statutes since great reward is in their keeping, Amen.

Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf


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