THEME: PURIFY YOUR HEARTS
BY: Fr. Francis Onwunali
HOMILY FOR FRIDAY JUNE 10 2022
“I am filled with jealous zeal for the Lord of host, because the sons of Israel have deserted you, broken down your altars and put your prophets to the sword. I am the only one left and they want to kill me” (1 Kgs. 19: 14).
This is the response of the Prophet Elijah to God in the first reading (1 Kgs. 19: 9, 11-16) on Mount Horeb when God revealed Himself to Elijah in the stillness of a gentle breeze. Elijah declared his faithfulness and willingness to stand with and for God even as a lone voice. In response, God directed Elijah to prepare and anoint those whom He has nominated to come after him as leaders of God’s people. God always provides a way. Keep your trust in tact.
In the gospel (Matt. 5: 27-32), Jesus instructs those who are willing to remain faithful to Him on the need to live above the normal standards of the prescriptions of the law. Since all actions stem from the heart, Jesus is calling for the purification of our hearts and to avoid anything that will lead us to sin.
Dear friends, God promised to make a new covenant with us, in which God will put His law within us and write it on our hearts (cf. Jer. 31: 33). “It is said before, “do not commit adultary”, but I said to you, if anyone looks lustfully, such has already committed adultery in their heart”. God wants us to purify our intentions! What is occupying my heart at this moment? Does it tend towards the glory of God’s Name?
I pray as we journey in life today, we will sincerely seek God’s face and declare our faithfulness as Elijah did, knowing that we cannot live faithfully apart from God’s grace. May our hearts which harbour the secret emotions and intentions of our lives be open to the stillness of God presence so as to be guided in God’s ways, for as Jesus said: “cut off from me, you can do nothing” (cf. John 15: 5). Have a purity-of-heart-full day!
Fr. Francis Onwunali