Homily for Friday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle II
Theme: Return to the Lord your God from your stumbling.
By: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
Homily for Thursday July 10 2020
READINGS: Hosea 14: 1-9, Ps. 51, Matthew 10: 16-23
Sin is what separates us from God and it makes us enemies of God and alien to him. In the spiritual life, anyone who sins or lives in a habitual sate of sin is seen as one who has fallen and gone away (astray) from the Lord because righteousness brings us closer to God and unites our spirit with his. Sin makes us fall from the state of grace to a state of disgrace.
Unfortunately many do not have time to take spiritual stock as to know when the spirit is telling them that they have stumbled. Some who are dead in sin do not hear the remorseful language of the spirit because even their consciences are dead. To such people when the spirit speaks, they have reason to excuse themselves or to justify their actions. It is this situation that made God to speak through prophet Hosea telling Israel that there is need for them to realize that they have stumbled because of their iniquities and so try to return back to the Lord. The way to return back to the Lord is to make a self judgment with the aid of the spirit of truth and after condemning what is wrong in someone’s life, he/she has to resolve not to do it again and ask for the grace of righteousness and conversion to be upright in the sight of God. It is the word of God that probes the loin and the heart and judges our conscience; and so anyone who does not value the word of God and does not have time to read and meditate over it cannot discover when he has fallen. It is the demands of the word of God that helps us to know whether we are keeping to it or not and that will judge our lives to know how we stand in the sight of God.
Beloved in our resolve to stand upright and rise from our stumbling, we must in humility ask God to forgive us of our iniquities and then accept what is good. Nothing can save us from the anger of God and nothing can actually make us happy internally except the keeping of the commands of the Lord. Our return makes God to heal the wounds of our sins and make his dew of blessing to fall on us and then we shall start to blossom like the lily and then our beauty shall shine like the olive and like Lebanon have a sweet fragrance. Only the wise person understands this clarion call for repentance and conversion.
Beloved, in our state of righteousness or upon our return to the Lord, he shall see us to be worthy and can trust responsibilities to us. He can send us to represent him in the affairs of humans in the world. In his joy for our good lives he will give us wise counsel and warn us of the wolves of the world teaching us how to avert their dangerous plans. Jesus assures those who love him and who are with him that he will be with them and equip them with wisdom even when the enemies put them to court. The love of Jesus makes it easy for him to advice those who love him on how to avoid and run away from persecutors from one town to the other. Those who are upright with the Lord receive all the support and wise counsel from the Lord and he reveals to them how evil the world is and how they can overcome them.
May the Lord continue to show us his mercy and forgiveness and make us return back to him in repentance and contrition of heart so that a pure heart may be created in us; we pray that his grace like a hyssop would wash away our guilt. Let the Lord create in us a new heart and put in us a steadfast spirit and may he never cast us away from his presence, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf