YEAR B: HOMILY/REFLECTION FOR THE 24TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
THEME: Knowing Jesus and accepting Jesus are entirely two different things!
BY: Fr. Precious Ezeh
Knowing Jesus is wonderful but “knowing” alone doesn’t make us good. Many people do not know Jesus. Some know only different aspects of Jesus. Just like the feedback given to Jesus by the disciples (Mark 8:27-28), many people know only an aspect of Christ that appeals to them; some as a prophet, others identifying him in his miracles and works.
However, they do not know him truly as the Son of God who deserves our worship. People of other religions and Christians of the miracle mongering mentality may belong here.
Others like Peter, may actually know him, but also like Peter may not be ready to accept the reality of his cross. This is impeding to spiritual life. It is like faith without works. It doesn’t make one better than Satan!
Satan the tempter and the evil spirits know Jesus very well but they remain evil. The Tempter manifested good knowledge of Jesus by saying “if you are the Son of God….” (Matt. 4:6) The evil spirits also recognised Jesus in the man possessed by Legions (Matt 8:29). The other man possessed by demons addressing the Sons of Sceva also said “Jesus I know, Paul I know, who are you” (Acts 19:15).
Many evil people in our world know Jesus but have blatantly rejected him. Many satanic preachers know Jesus but would only preach his glory and not his cross. Many Christians and Church goers who know him too have like Peter rejected his cross. Rejecting the cross of Jesus is satanic. It is the tempters ploy!
Peter listened to Jesus when he said to him “get behind me Satan (tempter)”. Are we going to listen to Jesus today and go behind him? Behind Jesus is the place of a disciple. “If you want to be my disciple, take up your cross everyday and follow behind me!” (Matt 16:24). This is a hard teaching, but the indeed the true teaching.
Knowing Jesus is not a matter of “the Bible says…” Even the devil does that much. It is a combination of Faith and good works that will earn us salvation. May God grant us the grace to follow him and drop all our satanic attractions and fantasies.
God loves you!