YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE FIFTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (10)







YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE FIFTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

HOMILY THEME:  When the godly encounters the ungodly: Having the Prophetic courage of Amos in our evangelizing mission as Christians.

BY: Fr. Clem C. Aladi.

 

HOMILY:

GOSPEL: Mark 6:7-13

Good morning my dearest Children of God. Peace and blessings upon you all who have come in the God’s presence to be filled with His saving words. Last Sunday the readings challenged us to face rejection, oppositions, criticism etc. with courage and optimism in our prophetic mission as God’s children. The readings of this Sunday continues to buttress the same points. Today the first reading presents to us a case study of the rejection and also the conspiracy against Amos by Amaziah the priest of Bethel (an apostate) serving the temple of Baal situated in Bethel by King Jeroboam who led the Northern kingdom of Israel to idol worship thus violating the commandments of God. Bethel use to be a place of encounter with the true God, it was there that Abraham built an altar to the Lord near there (Gen. 12:8), and Jacob had two significant encounters at Bethel (Gen. 28 and 35) before the ungodly King and Priest took over. When ungodly people rules over a land, there is bound to be catastrophe and failure. Only courageous men and woman can stand in opposition to them. Good and evil can never cohabit both a diametrically opposed and are in constant tension against each other. Amos’ prophetic message in the land of Bethel met violent oppositions, insults and conspiracy. His message was not welcoming to Amaziah the priest. He felt threatened by Amos’ message and therefore conspired against Him just to make him leave. He misquoted Amos before the King Jeroboam saying for thus Amos says, “Jeroboam will die by the sword and Israel will certainly go from its land into exile. but we all knew Amos never mentioned anyone’s name in his predictions. He asked Amos to go and preach somewhere else to make his ends meet as if, he became a prophet to make money. Many still think like that today because many prophets and God’s children have sold their voices and integrity to money. *If you sale your vote for money you are simply not different from false prophets because you sold your power of enthroning good men to government to allow evil men to continue ruling. Don’t make that mistake.*

Amaziah also told Amos ” Don’t prophesy at Bethel because it’s the king’s residence and the king’s sanctuary,” as if that was a compelling reason to stop preaching! . He wants to silence the the prophet by telling him where to preach. I have often heard people say, …”but he should not have said it there”. My dear Children of God, God has no boundaries or limitation when he wants to speak to us. So also we must speak out at every time and anywhere to condemn and confront evil. Prophetic courage means speaking out just in time, because delays could be dangerous. There are situations in which delays in voicing out the truth could be a deprivation or denial of Justice. Truth delayed is truth denied we often say. Many are suffering because the truth was not told Just in Time. If Daniel did not take the courage to speak out JIT in Susana’s case in the Bible the innocent woman would have met her shameful death in the hands of wicked conspirators.

No matter the lies and conspiracy about you, never give up the fight against evil. Let no one detect where and when you should talk. Remember the second reading of today tells us, we are adopted children of God and destined to be holy and blameless before him. To win the war against evil in society we all must embrace the garment of holiness and purity. You cannot fight or preach an evil you perpetrate because you don’t have the moral guts. ” *Our prophetic mission becomes more successful when we avoid the evils we preach against.”* Paul explains in this reading too that it is God’s eternal plan to extend salvation, through Jesus, to all mankind — first to the Jews and then to the Gentiles. Hence, the Jewish and the Gentile Christians need to love, help and respect one another and thus proclaim Jesus, giving true witness by their lives.

Today’s gospel (Mark 6:7-13), the evangelist tells the story of Jesus’ commissioning of the twelve apostles to preach the “Good News” of repentance, forgiveness of sins, liberation and salvation through Jesus. Just as God sent the prophet Amos to preach repentance to ancient Israel and St. Paul to preach the Good News of salvation to the Gentiles, so Jesus sends forth his followers to proclaim the Good News of God’s Kingdom and to bring healing to those who need it most. Today’s Gospel reports the instruction Jesus gave his disciples for their first mission. They should be walking illustrations of God’s love and providence in action. They should preach repentance -a change of heart and a change of action taking people from a self-centred life to a God-centered life. *We are all missionaries and each and everyone of us has a role to play in preaching God’s message. We also have a liberating mission, helping to free people from the demons of nicotine, alcohol, drugs, gambling, pornography, promiscuous sex, hatred, jealousy, racial prejudice and consumerism.* We need the help of Jesus to liberate us and others from these things.

May God continue to strengthen our courage to undertake our prophetic and missionary responsibilities with courage , love of God and neighbour. May He give us the grace to live examplary Christian lives.

I keep you and your family always in my Prayers.

Fr. Clem C. Aladi.

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