YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THURSDAY OF THE THIRTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: WHY DO YOU THINK EVIL IN YOUR HEARTS?
BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu
“But Jesus, perceiving their thoughts, said, ‘Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and walk’?” Matthew 9:4-5.
Since the beginning of this week, our readings have somehow challenged us to greater faith in God. On Sunday, we saw the healing of the woman with the issue of blood who without saying a word to Jesus obtained her healing by touching Him with Faith. We also saw how Jesus raised to life, the daughter of Jairus who had been declared dead by neighbours and sympathizers.
On Tuesday, Jesus said to us “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” And just yesterday, we read how Jesus cured the demoniacs with just one word: “Go.” Today, we read of another healing episode of Jesus which occasioned by some really good friends who went all the way to bring a paralyzed man to Jesus. Indeed, other synoptic Gospels add the extra detail that these friends had to come in through the roof of the house where Jesus was.
Matthew tells us that Jesus was moved by their faith. These friends believed completely in Jesus so much so that their faith was visible to Jesus. Indeed, when it comes to faith, we can never hide anything from God because He sees our Heart. While these friends were acting out their faith, there were some people who in fact doing the very opposite. You may wonder why they were part of Jesus’ crusades in the first place if they so much lacked faith in Jesus.
Indeed, it is not all those who come to Church that are for God. Like these scribes and Pharisees, there are many who come simply to pick our errors, to challenge the truth, to cause disaffection and ultimately to work for the destruction of God’s work. They may even advance in God’s house but as Jesus told us, by their fruits, they are known.
In the time of Amos, there was a man called Amaziah who claimed to be a priest but in the real sense, had lost his true calling and had become merely a minister of stomach infrastructure. Since, he fed from the king’s table, he no longer had the effrontery to speak the truth to power. Instead, he turned around to attack Amos. Amaziah represents the many men and women of God who continue to attack the Church from within because their primary concern is personal wealth. These crop of Amaziahs are the reason for the deep seated divisions and enmity between Christians of different as well as similar denominations today.
Jesus’ question to the Scribes and Pharisees who challenged his authority to forgive sin is one that deserves some amount of pondering. Jesus did not ask, “Why are you thinking I can’t forgive sins?” Instead he asked: “Why do you think evil in your hearts?” Lack of Faith in God is itself a great evil we must tackle in our lives. To underestimate God or to belittle God’s power and authority is just as bad as any sin we can think of.
Indeed, the current state of our country today can be likened to the paralytic. It is clear that this paralytic unlike the one in today’s Gospel passage lacks friends who have faith enough to carry her to Jesus. There is no need looking up human beings anymore; no need shouting, protesting against, insulting or laying curses on the President and those in power; they have proven beyond all doubt that they are completely incapable and totally unwilling to solve our country’s problems. Like the woman who suffered much in the hands of doctors for twelve years, our nation has suffered terribly from the hands of her leaders right from its inception.
Do you believe God remains the only solution against insecurity and all other troubles bedevilling our nation? Let us intensify our prayers like never before. Let us carry this paralytic of a nation to Jesus. Let us try to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment by repenting of all our sinfulness. Let us stop thinking evil in our hearts by assuming that God cannot save us from this crisis. Let us not forget that even though we are nation of failed leaders, we remain a whole world of people under one responsible leader; God.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, free me from faithlessness regardless of my circumstances. Amen.
*Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Thursday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Amos 7:10-17, Psalm 19:8-11, Matthew 9:1-6).*
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