Homily for Friday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time Year A
Theme: It was not by anything of yours that you are what you are today.
By: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
Homily for Friday August 16 2019
READINGS: Joshua 24: 1-13, Ps. 136, Matthew 19: 3-12
Most often human beings tend to forget their past and origin. Our beginning should be in our minds so as to appreciate our present and give thanks to God. It is very disheartening when people forget their origin and beginning and live as if they sprouted from nowhere. The ability to recollect where and how we started would help us to relish the present and then live in thanksgiving to God. When Israel forgot their humble beginning and were carried away by their present glorious state, God decided in the first reading to trace their history and origin for them should they pretend to forget. He traced several interventions he made in their lives through their ancestors and still does the same now through them who live presently.
Beloved, there is a song that tells us to count our blessings and name them one by one and that it will surprise us to see what the Lord has done. An Igbo adage says that: The one who forgets the past shall not behold the new. When we forget where we came from and what we were, we live in arrogance and pride or folly. Can we sit down and recall all that the Lord has done for us? St Paul asked: How many of you were influential people before your call? The miracles and deeds of the Lord in our lives started with the peaceful living in the womb for nine to ten months and then the infant cum maternal mortality that we passed through till today. How many of us can recall the care of God in our lives and how far he has seen us through toils and tussles. We can remember the death of many of our age mates and their inability to get the opportunity we have now. Many longed to see what we saw and never saw it and longed to know what we know and never knew it. Who can remember how many wars that the Lord has fought for us and granted us victory especially the ones we do not know? Can we recollect how many people and forces that the Lord destroyed in order to make us established? Many forces and humans have been displaced and scattered by God so as to get us established. Whatever we are presently despite our ingenuity and personal efforts came because God has willed it for us. It is good we learn from this statement of fact by God to Israel and use it to meditate on our own privileges: “I sent the hornet before you, which drove them out before you, the two kings of the Amorites. It was not by your sword or by your bow I gave you a land on which you had not laboured, and cities which you had not built, and you dwell therein, you eat the fruit of vineyards and olive yards which you did not plant”
Beloved, many of us have been benefiting from many privileges and blessings which we never deserved or suffered for. God has destroyed many forces and powers that rose up against us and we became victorious and yet we do not even know or remember. The successes many of us recorded were on a platter of grace not really by our power or might. It is important to appreciate these things and often remember the good deeds of the Lord and render him praises and thanksgiving. We must stop living as if we are achievers on our own. Rather we must live to keep the commandments of the Lord and make him happy by that. It is important we take time to appreciate the marriage institution and respect the laws of it especially anything that would bring divorce and division.
Let us live to give thanks to the Lord remembering that he is good and that his love and mercy endures forever. Let the Lord keep striking the evil nations that war against us and wicked Kings in their splendour. Lord continue to snatch us away from our foes especially those who are stronger than us and may we live to praise you for all we are and have, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf