YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE TENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: ” _There is a greater danger in our world when we refuse to admit the reality of what is sinful”._
BY: Fr. Clem Chimezie Aladi
GOSPEL Mk 3:20-35.
” _There is a greater danger in our world when we refuse to admit the reality of what is sinful”._
My dearest Brothers and sisters, we are grateful to God for counting us among the living in spite of our sinfulness. I joyfully welcome you to the 10th Sunday in the ordinary time. The Easter season and all the major solemnities we celebrated in the past Sundays are now over. Today the Church ushers us in to the ordinary time, that is a time when no major mysteries of our faith is celebrated like the Christmas, Lenten and Easter seasons. The ordinary time is another opportunity for us to put into practice all we celebrated in the past seasons and not a time to start living like an ordinary liberal-minded man or woman. The Green colour of this season which symbolizes growth and life reminds us to allow God’s word to be alive and keep growing in our lives.
The readings of this Sunday especially highlights the concept of Sin which is fast disappearing in our modern society. Secularism and liberalism is destroying the notion sin. “In his study of the subject, entitled, “ _Whatever Became of Sin?_ psychiatrist Karl Menninger stated that *although sin was once a strong word, which described an ominous aspect of every human being’s life, life-plan and life-style, the word, along with the notion of sin has all but disappeared. The reality of sin, however, has not disappeared; it has simply been renamed. Sin may masquerade under several aliases, but it remains, nonetheless, what it is”.*
In the first reading taken from Gen 3. 9:15, we saw the5 reaction of Adam and Eve to God’s question on whether they have eaten the forbidden fruit . Their reaction was the “blame game” a refusal to admit that each was responsible for disobeying a command. A refusal to admit I have done the wrong thing or I have failed. Adam shifted the blame to Eve and Eve to the serpent just as Buhari will blame Jonathan in Nigeria and many other Governments who keep blaming their predecessors for their failure or incapacity. Whose fault is it then? Who will accept he/she is responsible?, worst still who will even accept that his/her actions were wrong. There is the tendency in our world today to deny the consciousness of what is sinful or admitting a wrong done. Sinful actions are renamed in our world today to justify their goodness. For instance, When prostitutes call themselves or are known as Runs-girls, does it in any way diminish the fact of prostitution being sinful or fornication and adultery morally good behaviours?. Soldiers, who have systematically gang-raped and slaughtered helpless women have claimed justification for their actions due to the exigencies of war and their “moral obligation” to obey their superiors. Other heinous sins have been dismissed by excusing their perpetrators on ground of temporary insanity, or a troubled youth, or emotional instability. Some sins have been paraded under the guise of freedom of choice, ignorance, and aggressive or self-destructive behaviour.
We are gradually erasing from our mind-set and consciousness the fact that there exist actions that offend God and constitutes a disobedience to His commandments. *The more we grow in the realization and consciousness that what is sinful is sinful, that what is morally wrong is wrong, that what is evil is evil, and acknowledge our wrongs, then we are en route to destruction and there cannot be any progress in our relationship with God .* There is no better way to curb all the evils and atrocities in the world today than an increased awareness that certain actions offends God and man and must be avoided and condemned.
In the Gospel Jesus was misunderstood and termed a
lunatic by his own people because He tries to draw their attention to the fact that their actions offend God and their need to acknowledge their wrong doings and change from their evil ways. Jesus says
“Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them.
But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit
will never have forgiveness,
but is guilty of an everlasting sin.”
God is ever ready to forgive when we acknowledge our sinful actions and make amends for them. This sin against the Holy Spirit which is unpardonable is obstinacy in sin, which a total rejection of God’s love and forgiveness. Those who commit evil with impunity and refuse to repent are rejecting God’s forgiveness and love.
like the the Jews especially the Pharisees and scribes of Jesus’ time, people will always find it distasteful and offensive whoever tells them that their actions are sinful and this why many prophets of our time rather than condemn and confront people especially bad leaders of their sins, remain mute and indifferent in the face of evil in order to remain friendly with them. We are also guilty of this when we paint the notion of sin to avoid hurting peoples feeling from the pulpit. We use strong words in many areas but when it comes to sin, the voice fades. Why?
Paul in the second reading saw all his sufferings and adversaries in the missionary work as God’s plan for His spiritual growth and therefore he remained strong and never discouraged. *…Therefore, we are not discouraged; rather, although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.* May these words be our consolation in the fight against sin and evil in our world, so that the grace of God in us will remain renewed.
Whoever claims that he/she has not sinned is deceiving himself/herself and God’s truth is not in him(cf 1 John 1:8).
Let us awaken the consciousness of what is sinful. Our Children needs to be instructed to inculcate in them the consciousness of what is sinful to help build their conscience. Teach them that incest, fornication, stealing, prostitution, drug addiction, abortion are all sinful and can never be justified for any reason, no matter how logical or appealing the argument might be or how pathetic the circumstance is.
Modern society is justifying a lot of evil and dismissing them as sinful, we need to wake up before the devil takes over. *WHOEVER TELLS YOU THAT ANY OF GOD’S COMMANDEMENTS IS OLD FASHIONED AND NO LONGER RELEVANT IN MODERN TIMES OR THAT DISOBEDIENCE TO ANY OF THEM IS NO LONGER SINFUL IS THE DEVIL HIMSELF.* Not even modernity, philosophies, ideologies or cultures will uproot or diminish the concept of Sin or the guilt of it. Even though cultures might vary in regard to what is wrong or right or sinful, No culture can ever justify murder, abortion, genocide etc or any disobedience to God’s commandment. *IF PEOPLE CAN KEEP THE LAWS OF THE STATE WHY CAN’T WE OBEY GOD’S COMMANDS. FEAR OF PUNISHMENT MIGHT MAKE YOU OBEY THE LAWS OF THE STATE BUT GREATER PUNISHMENT IS SIN(DISOBEDIENCE TO GOD’S COMMANDMENT)WHOSE WAGES IS DEATH.*
God loves and forgives us, may we remain ever strong to obey Him and live by His commandments. Let us build our consciences by being conscious of what is sinful and admit they are sinful. May His word today be your strength and inspiration.
I keep you and your family always in my prayers.
Fr. Clem Chimezie Aladi.