YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE ELEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: BEARERS OF THE GOOD NEWS OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD
BY: Fr Cyril Unachukwu CCE
God never created us without purpose! He created us to know Him, to love Him, to serve Him and to live with Him forever. To be with God in eternity is part of our goal as sons and daughters of God. A glimpse of this goal we experience here on earth awaiting its full realization at the end of time when we shall reign with God (2 Tim 2:12). May our earthly sojourn be a foretaste and a preparation for our eternity in God’s Kingdom; Amen.
The First Reading (Ez 17:22-24) reminds us of a very difficult moment in the life and history of the people of Israel. A time when they lost hope thinking that it was all over with all of the promises of God to them because of the horrors and travails of the Babylonian exile; especially God’s promise of a dynasty, a Kingdom that will last forever (2 Sam 7:13). The prophecy of today was God’s reassurance to the people of Israel that His promises and purposes are firmly established; “I will take a shoot and plant it Myself on a very high mountain.” This prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus Christ and the promised Kingdom was the very content of the preaching of His; “the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mk 1:15); the Kingdom that is already with us but still not yet. That the Kingdom of God is already with us and still not yet signifies the mysterious nature of God’s Kingdom and the fact that the experience of the Kingdom of God we have now is only but a foretaste in view of its full realization.
The Kingdom of God is on the move and this movement portrays its dynamism that is focused at the end of time when we shall see the full manifestation of God’s Kingdom. It is a movement, a dynamism that is both magnetic and repellent; magnetic because it attracts within its confines men and women of good will who follow God’s will and obey His commandments and repellent because nothing unclean can be admitted into this Kingdom. In concrete terms, Jesus teaches us of this dynamism of God’s Kingdom with the two parables in the Gospel Reading of today (Mark 4:26:34). One central message of this dynamism of the Kingdom of God is the fact that it has a place for anybody who disposes himself or herself because “once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.” The dynamism of God’s Kingdom is an invitation to be dynamic. To be dynamic here means to live and witness to and practice the faith. To be dynamic means to realize that the Kingdom of God is not passively received as a gift from God but calls for our personal contribution; it is actively received. Actively receiving the Kingdom of God means living the life of Christ and practicing the spiritual and corporal works of mercy; doing our own part and allowing the grace of God to build on and to perfect our human nature. To be dynamic means, in the words of Saint Paul in the Second Reading (2 Cor 5:6-10), to be confident in the faith and to be certain of the fact that “whether we are living in the body or exiled from it, we are intent on pleasing Him.” To be dynamic means to be similar to our Lord Jesus Christ the Emmanuel.
May God give us the grace to live as sons and daughters of His Kingdom and to be bearers of the Good news of the Kingdom wherever we find ourselves; Amen.
Fr Cyril Unachukwu CCE