YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE THIRTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: JESUS CAME TO HEAL OUR DISEASES AND TO GIVE US LIFE IN ABUNDANCE.
BY: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
READINGS: Wis. 1: 13-15; 2: 23-24, Ps. 30, 2Cor. 8: 7, 9, 13-15, Mark 5:21-43
Everything that exists on earth has a mission and purpose of being and God who made the universe has a purpose for making it. He has said that his plan for us is not disaster but love and goodness. Jesus is life per excellence and gives life to all that he has made. He also has the sole right to give life and to destroy. He made humanity in his own image and likeness and since he made man a replica of himself endowed him with the germ of immortality. This is the crux of the matter in the first reading. It is not his will that man made in his likeness and image which is immortal should face mortality. It was according to the book of wisdom the plans and desire of the Devil since he has incurred death and wishes not to die alone but man too. He made man disobey and go against the way that leads to life which necessitated the death penalty of humanity. This goodwill of God is clearly shown in the acts of Jesus in today’s gospel; this is a proof of his saying that he came that we may have life abundantly.
Any person who does not like to be around Jesus or close to him is lost and desires death, sickness and pain for himself. Those who come around Jesus come because they will have their troubles taken away from them by the one who has all powers to do all things well for us. Humanity continues to rally round Jesus for solutions to their problems since in him is the solution to all life’s issues. Certain things are very necessary as we go near and around Jesus: Faith, complete Trust, total abandonment, Obedience to his will, Love of his law, Love for others and charity towards all people. Jesus in his acts in the gospel today made it clear that he cannot wait and allow sickness and unruly death to attack those whom he loves and who have fulfilled the aforementioned criteria.
The two mysterious and miraculous episodes in the gospel of today challenge us all who answer Christians and who go to Jesus daily for one need or the other. The woman with the issue of blood has conviction in what Jesus can do in her situation, she believed in the power of Jesus, her faith disposed her well to do even the little act of touch believing she shall be well and it was so for her. She had complete trust that Jesus would do it; she must have kept the will of God in reaching him and keeping his commands. These conditions of gaining attention and receiving efficacy of God’s graceful love were also fulfilled in the life of the centurion. He believed only in Jesus and did not go to another, he was patient waiting for the time of God to do his will, he showed great humility in going to Jesus. Despite how desperate his situation was and its urgency, he allowed God to do it at his own time believing that even though he can delay but surely he will do it. He defiled the discouragement of others and their advice to seek help from the wrong source. He was focused and resolute in his decision.
Beloved, how many of us today can learn from these two pillars of faith and ideal in the followership of Jesus? When we are faced with similar problems can we measure up to their conviction and manner of gaining divine help? It is also necessary that we be charitable and helpful to others according to the instructions of St Paul in the second reading today so that when we are also in need God would show mercy to us since in his beatitudes he has said that blessed are the merciful for they shall have mercy shown them. If you deny people around you the little help they need and seek from you, how can you get some help from God at the moment of your own needs? We pray that we may cease and utilize well all opportunities to help others and that we may extol the Lord for helping us, may he raise our soul from death and restore us back to life when we sink into the grave. Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf