YEAR II: HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF THE 5TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: There is none like our God, keeping covenant and showing mercy.
BY: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
HOMILY: READINGS: 1 Kings. 8: 22-23.27-30, Ps. 84, Mark 7: 1-13
Comparison they said is odious but at times it is necessary to establish the good and importance of something above the other. It helps to appreciate what one has as better than the other or to establish the inadequacy of something. It is on this note that we can speak of God not being like any other and not to be compared with any other. If not on this note there is no basis to compare God with any other since he exists in a different category alone that he shares with no other. He makes covenant with people not in the manner human beings do it with others; he shows mercy in an extraordinary manner that no creature would comprehend.
In the first reading, Solomon after the bringing and positioning of the Ark of Covenant he realized that even though God is seen in the Ark and kept in the temple yet God cannot be contained in one place either in heaven or on earth or beneath. God is found everywhere and can be approached everywhere with the right disposition and faith. No one can place God in a place and imprison him as if he is to be kept in space and time. Every age and place can witness the glory of God and so cannot be reduced to be prayed to or consulted only at a place. We can at anywhere and every place tune ourselves to God and encounter him. Even though God exists in a very special way in his temple and Churches and then in the Blessed Eucharist in an extra-ordinary manner, he cannot be said to be limited to those. Yet God had made a promise that his name shall be in his Church so that from there he may listen to the prayer of the people when they gather in a house exclusively made.
Beloved, God allows himself to be adored and worshipped in a building made by human hands but the best of the place God is to be fully seen and worshipped must be in the inner temple which is the heart. It is in the heart that we can see the real person of Jesus and be able to render him worthy and unalloyed worship. This God of ours is such that keeps covenant with us despite our inability to keep our own part of the covenant. We may always be unfaithful but he will always be faithful. He does not deceive us in making pretentious and deceitful covenant like humans do. We are called to be men/women of God who keeps to his word. He keeps to his word because he is so merciful disregarding our iniquities and incredulity. Little wonder the Holy Mother Church has dedicated this year as the extraordinary jubilee year of Mercy.
Beloved, we live only by the mercy of God not by our merit. Everything we do and enjoy is because God allows his mercy to shine upon us and be shown to us. His judgment is also been in the context of mercy such that he judges our actions from mercy point of view. This is why in the gospel when the disciples were eating with unwashed hand, he looked at them from the mercy spectacle and excused their intentions. Most often we behave as if we are doing well externally while we lack the inner disposition of mercy. In such way we become hypocrites who are like the tomb which may look nice but containing extortions and decay. Mercy must accompany all our actions especially the duty we have towards one another especially our aged parents. May we be counted among the blessed that dwell in the house of God.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf