Daily homily for Thursday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle I
Theme: ‘A MESSAGE OF PEACE’
By: Fr. Precious Ezeh.
Homily for Thursday July 8 2021
(Gen. 44:18-21,23B-29;45:1-5; Ps. 105:16-21; Matt. 10:7-15)
In a world beset with wars, rancour, wickedness, and divisions, there is no better message than the message of peace. There is serious lack of peace in the land. Some people have taken their lives or other people’s lives out of depression, frustration or desperation. There are so many broken homes; communities are in turmoil, States are under the siege of political gladiators and nations are under the yoke of terror.
Amidst all these, Jesus remains the sure sign of peace in a broken world!
In his instructions to the disciples on their first apostolic mission, Jesus reassures us of the Church’s mission of peace. He says to them “when you enter into any house, greet it, saying, ‘Peace to this house.’ And if, indeed, that house is worthy, your peace will rest upon it. But if it is not worthy, your peace will return to you” (Matthew 10:12-13).
Quite striking in this message is that; peace is the first gift to be offered by those bearing his name. Isaiah 9:6 calls him the Prince of Peace; and after the resurrection, peace was Jesus’s first gift to his disciples.
Worthy of note too from the gospel of today is the fact that, though peace is God’s free gift, it is received by those worthy of it!
Hence, he says; if the household is worthy of peace, your peace will remain with them…
It is easy to desire peace but difficult to maintain it. Peace is more than the absence of war, noise or commotion; peace is the presence of God’s Spirit. The same Spirit which renews the face of the earth. In Christ, he restores everything to their original perfection.
After the brothers of Joseph sold him off to the Midianites, they were robbed of their inner peace, and in today’s first reading from Genesis 44, even before Joseph released his identity, they were already choking with guilt. And as Shakespeare writes, ‘Macbeth has murdered sleep’ and can sleep no more. For only the innocent can slumber in peace.
Sin begets guilt and guilt begets lack of peace; but repentance, reconciliation and forgiveness restoreth peace! The brothers of Joseph would only regain their inner peace by true repentance and total forgiveness from Joseph.
As Jesus says, for those who reject the message of peace, on the last day, their case would be worse than Sodom and Gomorrah; for on the last day, even the sands from the soles of the feet of the peace bearers shall testify against them.
Today, therefore, the gospel calls on those sowing the seeds of discord to repent and seek for peace, while it’s near. All who persecute, molest or treat others unjustly are murdering sleep, and shall not be worthy of peace. But those who embrace the message of our Lord Jesus shall be restored to their inner peace.
God loves you.
God bless you.
Fr. Precious Ezeh.