CATHOLIC HOMILIES: 17TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – YEAR A
HOMILY Theme: A wise Choice.
By: Fr. Cyril Unachukwu CCE
Homily for Sunday.
Every day and every moment of life is an opportunity to choose. As human beings, we are partly products of many choices. Our choices determine a lot about our present and our future. God leaves us with choices, not because He hasn’t the power to condition everything about us, but because His plan for us is to live as human beings created in His image and likeness, so that by choosing wisely, we contribute our quota in making the world a better place and we work also towards living in eternal blessedness in the world to come. May our lives be a daily choosing of God and of His ways; Amen.
The story of Solomon about the opportunity he directly received from God in a dream to make a choice remains instructive to all men and women of every generation. Being a young man that just ascended the throne of his father as king, there must have been that natural tendency to make choices from the things we often consider to have the power to render us powerful and important in the sight of men and women; those things that make us feel superior to others like education, wealth, political and economic connections, etc. On the contrary, Solomon’s choice was unexpected and noble. One of the things that inspired Solomon’s choice of wisdom above all other possibilities is the fact that he was not driven by the attraction of things that pass away. Solomon was fundamentally driven by the attraction of things that last forever. In his words to God in the First Reading of today (I Kgs 3:5, 7-12), Solomon prayed “give Your servant a heart to understand how to discern between good and evil.” This prayer of Solomon is one that must be said over and over again by all people, especially with the ever changing modern trend of things where it is increasingly becoming difficult to discern between good and evil in a world where everybody is encouraged to choose whatever pleases him or her. One underlying truth about his choice is the fact that Solomon was set to please God. He never allowed himself to fall victim to the distortion of human classification. The disposition to please God informs and forms our choices. It is a disposition that springs from within; a disposition which changes our perspective about life and our orientation in life. This motive is very important because what drives us internally determines our choices. This was the case with the two persons recounted for us in the Gospel Reading.
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The two persons in the first two parables of the Gospel Reading of today (Mt 13:44-52) saw beyond their possessions. They were not slaves of their worldly goods. They were internally driven by the search of that which is superior to the sum of all earthly goods and which is eternally valuable. This inspired their reaction that “they went and sold everything they owned and bought the field and the pearls respectively.” One thing is certain, the attitude of those in search of eternal values is always the same; that of living everything behind to pursue that which counts. Also, what we choose often demonstrate the beauty or the ugliness of our interior life and aspirations. The beauty of our interior self and of our choices make us just and the ugliness of our interior self and of our choices make us wicked. At the end of time, only those who have constantly and consistently beautified their interior self through godly choices would constitute the just. Surely, they will be separated from the wicked. Furtherstill, the attitude of Solomon is very instructive to world leaders and all those in the position of authority. The wisdom to lead is one thing they must request from the Lord above all things. On the other hand, the ability to look beyond the transitory value of the things of this world and of political and economic powers remains the secret to arrive at that point when one is focused on values and treasures that last forever. By doing so, “we know that by turning everything to their good, God co-operates with all those who love him, with all those He has called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28-30).
May God bless each of us with the graces we need to see and live beyond the things of this world and to nurture and form our wills to always make choices that will lead us to reign with God in His eternal Kingdom of glory; Amen.
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