YEAR C: HOMILY FOR THE 4TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: GOD LOVES AND SAVES ALL
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
HOMILY: (Lk. 4:21-30) Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel Jesus begins His ministry after claiming before His own people the Messiahship. He was not accepted because He did not fit the image of the messiah according to the Jews. Jesus responded by citing the experiences of Elijah with the widow of Zarepath and Elisha with Naaman, the Syrian leper. Both were testimonies of the encompassing love and care of God. God’s plan was to begin the process of salvation in Israel, the Chosen People. But God’s messengers encountered a lot of rejections. Thus, when the opportunity merits it, God’s presence and salvific actions were felt and given. After all, God is the God of all!
Jesus was born a Jew. He had Jewish parents. He was taught and formed to be a good Jew. He went through everything a Jew should go through. But Jesus’ mission was not only for the Jews. He was sent to save both Gentiles and Jews, women and men, rich and poor, learned or not, sinners and saints. He taught and cured without discrimination. Salvation was offered to everyone.
This should help us understand the Parable of the Lost Sheep, the Parable of the Lost Coin, the Parable of the Prodigal Son, story of Matthew and Zacchaeus, the tax collectors, the thief hanging on the cross, the encounter with the centurion, His forgiveness of the adulterous woman, etc. Jesus was the messiah not only of the Jews and the saints, but sinners as well.
And maybe we ask why? Understanding Jesus’ action needs everything we’ve got. Yet, we will come out short of fully understanding it. Jesus said, “Doctors attend to the sick.” This human life situation should help us understand. Jesus was a saviour. Thus, He came for sinners. Jesus merited salvation for ALL of us when He died on the cross. It was applicable to all who lived before, during and after His death. But it does not end there. Salvation is a dynamic process. We need to continue to be saved. Part of it is accepting Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. part of it is following God’s commandments and will. Part of it is repentance for our sins. Part of it is loving our neighbours. In other words, we follow Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Are we jealous because God is generous? This was pointed out by Jesus when He told the parable of the Workers in the vineyard. The workers were hired at different times but they were given the same amount of wages. We tend to claim favours because we have been good. While it is true that goodness deserve rewards and evil deserve punishment, for Jesus, salvation is constant. In the case of salvation, God will always be generous. And Jesus lived that during His life and ministry.
We are suppose to be happy for every converted sinner. We should be happy we have a loving and forgiving God. We should be happy Jesus came for sinners. We should be happy Jesus died for all. Let us not look at the other as always the sinner and the undeserving. They can also be our friend, our relatives, and neighbours. Much more, they can possibly US! Aren’t we glad God loves and saves all? Knowing that truth, our response should not be entitlement, jealousy, or dismay. Rather, generosity, joy, and pride.