Catholic homily for Wednesday of the 5th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle I
Theme: The source of sin
By: Fr. Francis Onwnali
Homily for Wednesday February 10 2021
MEMORIAL OF ST. SCHOLASTICA
The Church celebrates today, the Memorial of St. Scholastica, virgin. St. Scholastica was the twin sister of St. Benedict, the Patriach of Western monasticism. She was born in Umbria, Italy, about 480. Under Benedict’s direction, Scholastica founded a community of nuns near the great Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino. Inspired by Benedict’s teaching, his sister devoted her whole life to seeking and serving God. She died in 547 and tradition holds that at her death her soul ascended into heaven in the form of a dove.
The message of the readings of today highlight the providence of God and the response that is required of us. The first reading (Gen 2: 4-9, 15-17) recalls the second account of creation. This account pictures God as the potter who takes a piece of clay *(adama)* , forms it, and then breathes the Divine *ruah* (breath, spirit, soul) into the clay *(adama)* and it becomes human *(Adam)* . After the creation of the first human being, God creates food sources for Adam. The food is vegetation- fruit trees. God invites Adam to eat of any of these trees except of the tree of the knowledge of Good and evil.
Jesus in the gospel (Mark 7: 14-23) explains with a parable the source of sin. It is not what is eaten or what enters into the body that defiles the body but it is the choices and thoughts that flow from the inner part of our being. All evil desires stem from the heart, the source of sin and goodness.
Dear friends, the cause of the fall of our first parents is not just the eating of the fruit but the inner longings to know what the knowledge of good and evil is. This led to the very action against the will of God. As I examine my life, I ask: what evil thoughts and desires do I have in my mind and heart that lead me to sin? What can I do to replace them with good thoughts and desires?
I pray as we journey in life today, we will be concious of the *ruah* (spirit) of God in us. With the Psalmist we pray: Lord, you take back your spirit, we die, returning from the dust from which we came. You send forth your spirit, we are created; and you renew the face of the earth” (Ps. 104: 29-30). May our lives be recreated by the Spirit, the presence of God in us. Have a good thought and desire-full day!
Fr. Francis Onwnali