YEAR B: HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY OF THE 17TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: HOW MUCH DOES YOUR FAITH COST?
BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu
_“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” * (Matthew 13:44)*_
If I were to offer you money in exchange for your Christian Faith, how much would that be? How much money would be enough just for you to denounce your relationship with Christ forever? If for instance, I offered you a million dollars just so that you can enjoy as much as you can here on earth but on the condition that you will spend eternity in hell, what would be your response?
I recall seeing a video clip on social media produced by the company known as Naij.com, a young man was asked if he would kill his parents for a hundred thousand naira and to the shock of everyone around, this young man said he would. It sounded funny, but it wasn’t at all. This young man valued money more than his very future.
Again, I saw another video not too long ago. It was actually a social test. A young man parked a very expensive car by the road and stood by the corner. He tried asking a lady out but she bluntly told him she wasn’t interested because she was engaged to someone else. He let her go while he walked towards his car. When the lady noticed he was the owner of the car, she ran back to him saying she was now interested. Another lady said she her wedding was coming up but ran after him when she noticed his car. These ladies valued money more than their relationships and future spouses.
Like these ladies and the young man above, many of us do not value our faith. When we find ourselves in such situations that we have to choose between money and God, we immediately go for the money. We are not yet fully converted unless we reach a point where all the money in the world is no longer enough to buy our faith.
If God is not a priority in your life, if you cannot afford to lose the whole world for the sake of God like the merchant who sold all his possessions just to buy a field containing a treasure (or just one fine pearl), we do not deserve to be part of that kingdom. The young man who came to Jesus desiring to inherit eternal life walked away sad because he valued his possessions more than God’s kingdom. He couldn’t imagine life for himself if he had to sell all he had and give to the poor.
I am sure the song that was on the lips of the merchant in Jesus’ parable was: “You take the whole world and give me Jesus, you take the whole world and give me Jesus, you take the whole world and give me Jesus, I am satisfied, I am satisfied.” Can I really say: “With Jesus alone, I am satisfied?” Am I willing to sacrifice all I have, all my friends and connections, all my possessions just for the sake of being part of God’s kingdom? Can I say with the psalmist today that “God is my refuge in the day of my distress?”
In the face of the persecutions Jeremiah suffered, God assures “they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail over you, for I am with you to save you and deliver you.” Do I have such firm confidence in God? Or is it the case that my bank alert gives me more confidence?
Today we celebrate the memorial of St. Alphonsus Maria de’Ligori, the founder of the Order of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists). He was an Italian Catholic Bishop, spiritual writer, composer, musician, artist, poet, lawyer, scholastic philosopher and theologian. He was born on 27th of September, 1696 and died on this day 1st of August, 1787 at Pagini, in Italy.
Amongst his favourite quotes include: Acquire the habit of speaking to God as if you were alone with Him, familiarly and with confidence and love, as to the dearest and most loving of friends. Your God is ever beside you – indeed, He is even within you.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, help me to live a good life. Amen.
*Happy new month. Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Wednesday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Jeremiah 16:10-21, Psalm 59:2-18, Matthew 13:44-46).