YEAR B: HOMILY/REFLECTION FOR THE 23RD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
THEME: THE “BUT”
BY: Fr. Christian Eze
First reading – Isaiah 35:4-7 Second reading – James 2:1-5 Gospel – Mk 7:31-37
One would be surprised at the choice of today’s topic. Think about it yourself, human beings are among God’s creatures that have it inherent in them to be ingrates. Tell me that which you would do and there would be a total appreciation of it. I am surprised today that the Jews saw the miracle of Christ healing the deaf and appreciated it in its totality: “He has done all things well” without any “but” St Vincent De Paul once said that ingratitude is the worst sin. When God does something for us, how many would say it is well? When Jesus healed the ten lepers in Luke 17, it was only one, a stranger, who came back to give thanks. Jesus had to ask; where are the other nine? If we ever come back or acknowledge any act of goodness in our lives, it is often followed by a clause “but…” I mean, the normal character of human beings after such healing could have been: “he has done all things well but…” Thus many people’s attention is often focused on seeking to discover the ones that have not been done well more than appreciating the ones that have been done well. We never appreciate fully.
The point we make here is that when we wait for everything to be complete before acknowledging the one that have been done, then we may never give God thanks. If we wait to complete our education before we appreciate God for the gift of our parents, we discover that we will postpone it till we get a job. And as soon as we are getting the job, the reality of getting married stares at us and we would say again, He has done it well, “but…” Okay, get married, the “but” becomes to beget children. Okay, beget children, the “but” becomes to build a house, to change the car. You discover that the “but” would end in the grave if at all it will.
The Jews accepting that Jesus had done all things well mentioned only two points among the many good works of God. These are: making the dumb speak and making the deaf hear. Certainly, many of us would, that is if we are sincere, enumerate ours more than double of what the people saw. Why can’t we too really accept the fact that Jesus has done all things well? It will encourage him to do more for us if we appreciate the one He has done without any “but” clause. My Jesus, thank you.