YEAR B: HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF THE 17TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: THE ENEMY OF THE KINGDOM
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
(Mt 13:36-43) Tuesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time, Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola
In today’s Gospel, Jesus talks about the end time. In the same way that the weeds will be separated from the wheat, the unworthy ones will be separated from the worthy ones. The latter will enter the Kingdom while the former will suffer punishment.
St. Ignatius depicted Christianity as a kingdom where Jesus is King. The devil is the enemy of the King. CHRISTIAN life is always a choice between the King and the devil. At times, the devil is very cunning. Thus, there is a need to discern evil from good.
One of St. Ignatius' teaching is the capacity to discern the work of the Good spirit from the evil one. And the devil does not stop once unmasked. It continues to pester, temp, lure, and deceive. Thus, we resort to prayer and good works. When the devil comes to realize that its actions will only result to good works and stronger relationships with God, it will temporarily stop. It follows too that we must always be alert and vigilant.
St. Ignatius saw spiritual life as a battle between good and evil, or King and satan. As a soldier, he saw everything in the context of war. He was an excellent spiritual strategist. He taught inordinate attachment which is the capacity not to be enslaved by material things, rather, use them to advance our spiritual life. Let us see God in all things. Discernment was his expertise and great contribution in the Catholic Faith. It is the capacity to determine whether something comes from the good spirit or the evil spirit.
Not everything that is "good" always comes from the good spirit. Also, not everything "bad" comes from the evil spirit. There are times when the evil spirit will disguise itself in the good and the good spirit will inspire us with "bad" things. Once when I was reviewing for an exam in theology, a fellow seminarian knocked on my door and told me he was informed of her mother's sickness. He wanted to pray for his mother. He went to me to ask me to join him. I was torn between reviewing and joining him in praying. I discerned. I told him I could not because I am still far from completing my review. He was sad. But I was confident of my decision. I knew that the invitation to pray comes from the evil spirit. If I opted to join him, I would have failed and my priesthood would have been imperiled. Was it bad to pray? No. But in this situation, it is clear that the good spirit wanted me to review.
Another example. I was on my way to church to attend the Sunday mass. Along the way I saw an old woman lying by the side road. She fainted. Will I proceed to church or help her? I decided to forego my Sunday obligation and helped the woman be brought to the hospital. In this case, it is clear that the good spirit wanted me to be charitable. God would understand my absence in church.
As we age and practice discernment, we will get use to it and be comfortable in determining God's will. However, lest we become lax, we have to be warned that the devil will also progress and be more subtle in its temptations. It is an on going battle. But with prayers and constant discernment, we can always be a step ahead of the devil. Thanks to St. Ignatius of Loyola.
Thanks to the Holy Spirit!
AD MAJOREM DEI GLORIAM!!!