YEAR C: HOMILY FOR THE 15TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: LOVE, RECONCILIATION AND COMPASSION
BY: Fr. Omolo Joachim Ouko, AJ
HOMILY: Today’s first reading is taken from the book of Deuteronomy 30:10-14, in which Moses reminds the people that God’s commandments are not remote but are already in their hearts. And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
The Ten Commandments teach us how to first love God, and then love our neighbor. The first commandment says, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). In other words, love God above everything.
God wants us to use his name positively, not in vain. He wants us to concentrate on his word and his ways, on remembering the Sabbath day by honoring God with our choices. Just like if we honor our father and mother; we should always treat family members with respect.
Do not kill, do not commit adultery, and do not steal. Those three commandments value life and relationship and respecting others. You should not bear false witness against your neighbor, and not coveting what belongs to your neighbor.
The second reading is from the letter of Paul to the Colossians 1:15-20 in which he uses the occasion to instruct the Colossians and to restate for them the truth about the absolute supremacy of Jesus Christ, as beginning and end of all creation.
Paul draws our attention to the absolute supremacy of Jesus Christ. That supremacy is focused in two areas: His supremacy in relationship to all creation and His supremacy in relationship to the work of reconciliation.
Reconciliation requires physical safety and economic and social justice. It requires “not only bringing people together to create a shared understanding, but to succeed, much more. People first need to have their immediate physical needs sufficiently met to be able to be open enough to the reconciliation process.
Reconciliation encompasses all dimensions of peacebuilding. It requires that structural injustices in the political, social, judicial and economic domains be addressed.
From a human rights perspective, reconciliation is also seen as a process that can only be achieved by regulating social interaction through the rule of law and preventing certain forms of violations of rights from happening again.
The Gospel is from St. Luke 10:25-37, in which Jesus tells the parable of the Good Samaritan who was moved with compassion at the sight. He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn and cared for him (Luke 10:33-34).
The meaning of compassion is to recognize the suffering of others, then take action to help. … The Bible defines the meaning of compassion in several ways. We are to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Proverbs 31:8-9 speaks up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.
There are 8 ways to show compassion.
1. Open the door for someone.
2. Motivate others.
3. Practice acts of kindness.
4. Allocate time to bond with friends and family.
5. Say encouraging words.
6. Share a hug or a handshake.
7. Incorporate the phrase “thank you” into your daily routine.
8. Offer to help someone with their to-do list.
Compassion includes the desire to take actions that will alleviate another person’s distress. It means ‘to suffer together’.
Compassion improves your health by strengthening your immune system, normalising your blood pressure, lowering your stress and depression, improving your physical recovery from illness, and even extending your life. Compassion enables you to understand yourself and others more as you seek to relieve suffering. Treat yourself as you would a small child.
Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ