YEAR C: HOMILY FOR THE 24TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: MERCIFUL GOD
BY: Fr. Cyril Unachukwu CCE
HOMILY: On the 30th of November, 1980, the Saintly Pope John Paul II released his soul changing Encyclical “Dives in Misericordia” (Rich in Mercy). These words, taken from Eph 2:4, really give us the true image of our God; for “when through disobedience we lost God’s friendship, He did not abandon us to the domain of death. He came in mercy to the aid of all, so that those who seek might find Him.” May the ever flowing stream of God’s mercy cleanse us from every sin and bring us closer and nearer to God; Amen.
Each one of us is in constant need to connect and reconnect to God everyday of our lives. This is true because often and on, we wound and break the spiritual cord that connects us to God. In fact, the history of human beings is filled with persistent attempt by us to totally cut ourselves from God. This is exactly the attitude of the Israelites in the First Reading of today (Ex 32:7-11, 13-14). As a result of their impatience (Ex 32:1), they forgot with the shortest period of time the God that led them thus far. They forgot all the mighty things God did in their sight and how God had being with them throughout their journey.
Like the people of Israel, we often take this path of trying to wound and cut that cord that connects us to God. Our evil and wrong actions are our different blades and sharp objects with which we attempt to damage this divine bound. Every choice made in the wrong direction is a blade; a sharp object that cuts this robe. The Prodigal Son in the Gospel Reading (Luke 15:1-32) made this wrong choice and he led himself deceptively from abundance to lack; from grace to grass; from favour to labour; from palace to piggery; from health to sickness; from being a giver to being a beggar! But indeed, ‘Deus est dives in misericordia’ (God is rich in mercy). When he rose and went back to his Father, he experienced the richness of God’s mercy. One of the most excellent and noble things about God is that He is always willing to offer us a new robe; He is always available to us; He is never tired of opening His arms to us! This was also the experience of the Israelites at the intercession of Moses.
Since the beginning of her Mission, the Church has been proclaiming the mercy of God and calling each of us to experience that mercy. What is your excuse? I hear often those who claim to be ashamed to go and confess their sins and receive absolution. I often reply; if you can be ashamed of your sin in that manner, you would be a saint. You are ashamed of being forgiven but never ashamed to commit sin. Sense of shame is good and praiseworthy! But any sense of shame that does not lead you to confess and reject your sin is from the evil one. Every experience of God’s mercy is a source of transformation and strength. The mercy of God was the hidden power behind the success and victory of the Apostle Paul (I Tim 1:12-17). He is a perennial witness and example for us.
I open afresh upon you and your household the ever open Door of Mercy!
May the power of God’s mercy be your strength and lead you to spiritual, moral, fraternal and material transformation; Amen. Happy Sunday; Fr Cyril CCE