FR. JUSTIN NZEKWE HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY OF THE 23RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE II
THEME: THE BEATITUDES
BY: Fr. Justin Nzekwe
HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 7 2022
Each time we read about the beatitudes, we hear the voice of Jesus reminding us to avoid being too comfortable with the good things of this world. The beatitudes teaches us that everything we lack in this world for the sake of the kingdom of God, shall be regained back in heaven. It preaches about an eschatological reversal, where those who enjoy at the moment while thinking less of God will suffer in future for not taking God seriously in their lives. However, the beatitudes also give hope to those who are persecuted unjustly. The fact that people hate you and criticize you does not mean that God also hates you. For Jesus said, “Blessed are you when men hate you and when they ban you and insult you and despise your name as infamous, because of the Son of man. Rejoice in that day and rejoice because, behold, your reward is great in heaven.” However the emphasis is being criticized for the sake of God, and not as a result of your selfish interest. If you are doing the right thing, then you don’t need to worry yourself about what other people are saying about you. For sometimes, people praise us not because we are doing the right thing, but because our words and actions favour them. In the first reading, Saint Paul also reminds us about the urgency of God’s kingdom, he said, “the time has become short; henceforth, those who have a wife, live as if they did not; those who cry, as if they weren’t crying; those who rejoice, as if they did not rejoice; those who buy, as if they did not own; those who use the goods of the world, as if they did not use them fully: in fact, the figure of this world passes!” We must not wait for the trumpet of God to sound before we can do the right thing. Often, the devil deceives us into thinking that we are still strong and healthy and therefore we don’t need to worry about the urgency of the second coming of Jesus. But each day, the kingdom of God comes to us individually, and we do not notice it. There are some people who were with us last year, but no longer alive today. The kingdom of God which those people had waited for had come. We have to be prepared always, by living our lives according to the beatitudes. We have to depend on God and not on our earthly possessions. We have to live in the world not just as citizens of the world, but also as citizens of heaven where we shall live in eternity. We ask God in this holy mass for the grace to do his will always, so that after the end of our life, we shall receive God’s reward in heaven, Amen.