YEAR B: HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF THE TWELFTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: TO WHOM SHALL WE GO WHEN ALL HOPES ARE LOST?
BY: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
READINGS: 2 Kings. 19: 9-11. 14-21. 31-35.36, Ps. 48, Matthew 7: 6, 12-14
In life we may find out that we do things the way we want and we may be lucky to have it easy without problems. We may be on the wrong path moving on the wrong roads but luck or the free grace of God may be protecting us. We may not see the need for a help or to see the importance of someone in our lives till things begin to change and problems start. When people have not entered into difficulties beyond their abilities and capabilities such that they see no way out or solution, they will never remember that there is God or the Mighty one. This was the case with Hezekiah King of Judah. He may have been ruling his people in tranquillity as he wished and believing he was powerful and safe till the time Sennacherib king of Assyria sent him messengers that he is about to lay siege against him and his nation. He may not have before then realized that God is the last resort and pillar of his strength but now faced with a situation very overwhelming and greater than he can fathom, he now realizes he has God who saves. This is what happens to very many of us. At times we even live our lives as if no other person matters even to the negligence of other important people who matter in our lives. We remember them when we find ourselves in hot soup and then discover that they are the ones that can help and rescue us; at times it becomes very difficult going to them and when going, we go with shame and fear.
Beloved, some people believe that all powers belong to them and that they can do to others whatever they want and speak any how to people. Human beings should know that we can do nothing except what God permits and allows. We have no power of our own and cannot boast of any power; only God decides affairs and whatever that would happen. Sennacherib King of Assyrian believed that he can threaten Hezekiah king of Judah and have it the way he wants. He trusted in his power and might and believed that he must do whatever he wants without anything inhibiting him; he forgot that God is the one who owns everything and who has the last say in every matter and who is the only that can interfere in matters of creation.
It takes a man of faith and contrition with a humble heart to return back to the right source even if he has made mistakes and even if he has abandoned the right path. A proud and arrogant person would insist on his ground and accept any dire consequences. King Hezekiah can be seen as a man of faith and trust in God by the action he took in the first reading. He believed that God is the only refuge in time of distress and the only who can save and rescue those who trust in him. He humbled himself before God in prayers and made his faith known that only God can save him from the hand of the enemy. He went with the enemy’s summon to the altar of God not to the shrines of the gods as Christians of today do. He laid his problems before God whom he believed. He prayed thus: Incline your ear, O Lord and see, and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God…So now O Lord our God save us, I beg you from his hands, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know you, O Lord, are God and alone. This takes the tone of the prayer of Queen Easter and the response of St Peter: Lord, to whom shall we go, you have the message of eternal life. When we approach God with true faith and complete trust, he shows that he is the God of our life. It was this type of radical trust and prayer of Hezekiah that stimulated the intervening power of God to deal with the pride of Sennacherib King of Assyria.
Beloved, we have a lot of Sennacheribs in our lives that threaten us, we have proud and arrogant powers that infiltrate our lives but only strong faith in God and succour in the Lord would sees us through the evils of this life. Faith is a holy gift that we have received and should not be trampled upon as if we are dogs given what we do not deserve. We should not become a Sennacherib to others and treat them in a way that we do not want to be treated. Let us try to follow God through his ways which may look narrow because of the discipline involved; for it is such roads that lead to eternal life and salvation. May God establish us forever on a mountain fastness against the reach of enemies and may he answer us whenever we give him distress call and when we have no other hope but him alone, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf