YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE TENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: MYSTERY OF SIN
BY: Fr Cyril Unachukwu CCE
The mystery of sin is a daily lived experience which has continued to torment our relationship with God and to upturn the serenity that should exist between us and our brothers and sisters and to obstruct our onward and forward movement to our true Homeland. To sin is to relive the old and outdated situation of Adam and Eve. To live above sin is to glory in the victory of Christ. May God fill us with His graces to daily reject and overcome all the deceptions of the Devil to lure us away from Him; Amen.
In the First Reading of today’s liturgy (Gen 3:9-15) we read anew how sin entered the world by the disobedience of our first parents to the law of God and their entrusting themselves to the deceptive words of evil one, “the serpent beguiled me, and I ate.” To beguile has always been the mission of the Devil and this he does with countless beautifully decorated lies. The trap consists in the cosmetic nature of its beauty and attraction and only with great attention to the words and commandment of God does one overcome them. The Devil provides us with a thousand and one reasons to break these commandments of God. They could be from the difficulties of our lives and daily lived experiences. It could be from the challenges of our vocations as Christians, singles, parents, religious men and women or as priests. It could even be from the very gifts God bestowed upon us and from which God expects us to bear fruits, fruits that will last. There is nothing with which the Devil cannot use to beguile us. Aware of the danger we face in moments of challenges and difficulties and of how these moments can be fertile grounds for the deceptions of the Devil and occasions for sin, Saint Paul reminds us in the Second Reading (2 Cor 4:13-5:1) that “this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” What we lose by sinning is always greater than whatever promise the Devil makes.
In all of these, we must always remember that “sin is a humiliation of God before His enemy the Devil; the opposer of our Father in heaven, the seducer of our first parents and the accuser of our brothers and sisters.” Sin is a betrayal of our family and an own-goal into our net of success and progress. Sin hides from us the knowledge of God and beclouds our view of our true goal. By our nature of being offsprings of our first parents Adam and Eve, we have this tendency to give in to the manipulations of the Devil. But much more than that, by the dignity of our being sons and daughters of God through the merits of Christ, we have received power and grace to reject every prompting of the Devil and to keep the Devil where he truly belongs, in the abyss of darkness. It is this grace and power that Jesus reminded us in the Gospel Reading of today (Mk 3:20-35) “anyone who does the will of God, that person is my brother and sister and mother.” Being guided by the Will of God is the surest path to overcome all forms of temptation and indeed every type of sin. Being a brother or sister or mother to Christ is to live above sin. Being guided by the Will of God leads us also to recognize the workings of divine operation and not to attribute to the Devil the glory that truly belongs to God. That was the sin of the scribes in the Gospel and indeed the sin against the Holy Spirit. Every good thing comes from God and to Him belongs all glory and honour for His generosity towards us. To overcome the Devil and all his tactics, our attention must be focused on the things that are unseen, on heavenly mysteries in Christ. Our gaze on the things above gives true meaning to the things below and makes them unsusceptible for the deceptive antics of the Devil towards us.
“God, may your healing work in the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, free us we pray from doing evil and lead us to what is right; Amen.”
Fr Cyril Unachukwu CCE