YEAR C: HOMILY FOR THE 23RD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: Divine plans and decrees.
BY: Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
HOMILY: Today’s first reading is taken from the Book of Wisdom 9:13-18a. In today’s extract the author is stressing man’s incapability of understanding the divine plans and decrees. Because we are finite, limited beings, our knowledge is finite and limited.
We need Wisdom to understand God’s purpose for us. Wisdom is the first and highest gift of the Holy Spirit, because it is the perfection of faith. Through wisdom, we come to value properly those things which we believe through faith.
Through wisdom, we judge the things of the world in light of the highest end of man—the contemplation of God. The purpose of the spiritual gifts is to edify (build up), exhort (encourage), and comfort the church.
The Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are an enumeration of seven spiritual gifts originating from patristic authors, later elaborated by five intellectual virtues and four other groups of ethical characteristics. They are: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.
The word of knowledge is often defined as the ability of one person to know what God is currently doing or intends to do in the life of another person. It can also be defined as knowing the secrets of another person’s heart.
Wisdom is the ability to discern and judge which aspects of that knowledge are true, right, lasting, and applicable to your life. In a nutshell: If knowledge is information, wisdom is the understanding and application of that knowledge and insight is the awareness of the underlying essence of a truth.
To gain wisdom, one has to have knowledge first, and then use conviction to make a good judgment out of that knowledge.
To gain understanding, one has to have both knowledge and wisdom first, and then put them into action. He has to know, make a choice, and then practice that choice he has made.
Wisdom makes us to act on your values, learn from your mistakes, and share your wisdom with others.
It is the Wisdom that can guide young people to make right decisions. They all know that having a word of advice from their parents, teachers or role models could make their lives so much easier and keep them away from mistakes that others have gone through.
There are so many people who choose the wrong path in life only because they did not have the help they needed at the right time or just because they did not listen.
The human mind can be very stubborn when it clings to old perspectives and beliefs. This happens because these beliefs are susceptible to a series of cognitive biases, also known as distorted patterns of thinking.
Sometimes, we choose not to listen from the ones around us but find words of wisdom in what we read, whether it is a book, an interview in a magazine or a quote.
There are many wise quotes from writers that we can use as a compass for our lives and from which young people could learn how to live their lives.
1. “My message, especially to young people is to have courage to think differently, courage to invent, to travel the unexplored path, courage to discover the impossible and to conquer the problems and succeed”. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, the 11th President of India.
2. “There are direct paths to a successful career. But there are plenty of indirect paths, too. So many young people I speak to nowadays think that the only way to get to such a career is the direct path, but that really only makes sense in certain circumstances.” Clayton Christensen, an American scholar, business consultant, educator, author and religious leader.
What he is trying to tell young people is that sometimes there is a direct path to reach your goal, but other times you have to struggle and overcome obstacles, to fall and then get up and keep going. No matter how hard your path might be, keep fighting.
The second reading is from St. Paul to Philemon 9b-10, 12-17. The Gospel reading is from St. Luke 14:25-33, in which Jesus teaches about the demands of discipleship and teaches us that the essential condition for true discipleship, demanded by Christ, was, and still is, total dedication, total commitment of oneself to him.
Following Christ means making our way to heaven. It is a life-journey. We have a limited time in which to complete this journey. Therefore, we must travel a certain distance each day.
Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ