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YEAR B: HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF THE ELEVENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: EVERY SIN AND ABOMINABLE ACT HAS DIRE CONSEQUENCES.
BY: Fr. Callistus Emenyonu
READINGS: 1 Kings 21: 17-29, Ps. 51, Matthew 5: 43-48
The scripture makes it clear that we are all sinners and due to our sins, we have fallen short the glory of God. St John complemented it by saying that if anyone should say that he has not sinned, he makes himself a liar and lacks the spirit of God. It is also said in the scripture that the reward of sin is death. Most often we behave like we are not conscious of this or that we are not aware of it. Worst is when we are involved in serious habitual sins the type that offends God greatly and cheats on our fellow human being wounding them so much and destroying the spiritual relationship we have with God. Often we remain consistent and unceasing in our sinful ways despite warnings and preaching and the hunt of conscience. Ahab and Jezebel have been doing whatever they liked; bringing foreign gods and forcing the Israelites to worship it. They killed Yahweh’s prophets and troubled Elijah by sending him on exile. They neglected his words with impunity trusting in their power as if there is no God.
Beloved, after listening and pondering over the first reading today any serious minded person would be caught up in fear. We deceive ourselves by thinking that God does not take note of our sins or that because we escaped immediate anger and punishment of God, we are free. Every sin, abomination and evil deeds against the commandment of God has a dire consequence awaiting it at God’s apportioned time. It may delay and may come in your own healthy days and may even be visited upon your descendants as God pronounced in the mouth of Prophet Nathan today after Ahab’s asking for forgiveness. God said: Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days; but in his son’s days, I will bring the evil upon his house. Earlier, God poured his anger and punitive judgment of Jezebel and Ahab for all their sins. So, even if we think that we can sin and ask for forgiveness, it can be granted us but what of if God decides to visit such consequences on our innocent children and family member and generations yet to come? Many families are today living under curses and evil possession due to the offenses of our fathers and fore-fathers. Many of our family members have committed serious sins against God and nature and are gone; they leave us with the evil consequences and sufferings. It is time we dread sin because it is not when you cut down a tree that the leaves wither but it may take time but the sure thing and truth is that the leaves must be shaded off; it must wither and the stump would dry no matter how long it manages to stay.
Beloved, any type of sin is abhorred and should be avoided especially sins against our neighbour. We may identify enemies yet the Christian law does not permit us to hate them or to treat them badly; vengeance the Lord said is his. It is difficult to do this command of Christ to love one’s enemy especially the one you know too well that he hates you. It is difficult to forgive people like Ahab and Jezebel considering the enormous crime and sin they committed; so it is human to say that the family of Naboth should deal with them and make them suffer the full rigours of the law. The family naturally can as well take laws into their hands to destroy the life and family of Ahab and Jezebel. But Jesus tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who hate us. God used himself as an example for us when it is said in the gospel of today that God allows the sun to shine and the rain to fall on both sinners and righteous people. He wants us to accommodate all. It is difficult to do this yet he who asked us to do it would give us the grace to do so; for he told Paul that his grace is enough for him. We must then ask God always to give us the grace he promised Paul to face the hard tasks that our Christian calling places on us and ask him to have mercy on us for we have sinned and that we cannot exonerate ourselves from sin.
We pray that God would by his grace save us from habitual sins and sins that would attract his anger upon us. We ask him never to visit our sins on our family members but completely in his mercy wiped them away. May his loving kindness meet us always, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf