Homily for Friday of the 24th Week in Ordinary Time Year A
Theme: ON WEALTH…
By: Rev. Fr. Jacob Aondover ATSU
Homily for Friday September 20 2019
MEMORIAL OF ST ANDREW KIM TEAGON AND COMPANIONS
READINGS: 1TIMOTHY 6:2-12, PSALM 49, LUKE 8:1-3
The word of God in Job 1:21, Ecclesiastes 5:14 and 1 Timothy 6:7 allude to the fact that we came into the world with nothing and we’d go out of it with nothing. As the soul came, so is it supposed to return to the Father in heaven unstained by the world. Our craving for riches, our strenuous labours, the many shady deals, maneuverings, evil manipulations we indulge so as to enrich ourselves can only land us into trouble if we are not careful. It was Sir Francis Bacon the inspirational writer who said: “Riches are a good handmaid, but the worst mistress.” He also said: “If money is not your servant, it will be your master. The covetous man cannot so properly be said to possess wealth, rather, wealth possess him.” Supporting this, the author of Proverbs opines; “of what use is money in the hands of fools when they have NO HEART TO ACQUIRE WISDOM?” Wisdom and love of God can guide our pursuit of comfort aright.
The man or woman who possess wisdom and love of God knows the meaning of prioritization and he/she applies it rightly and always too. He/she does not desire to be rich so much so as to land into temptation. He/she does not love money more than God hence cannot be consumed by the evils that follow the covetous. The call today my dearly beloved brothers and sisters is to make God our primary priority and let him guide our way of life; even our way through riches too. Wealth is good where there is no sin (Sirach 13:24) but only the God-driven rich can stay clear of vice and sin. Paul calls us today to be men and women of God whose hearts are full of righteousness, steadfastness, gentleness and love. That so, even in our craving for riches, with our hearts full of wisdom; we can avoid plunging ourselves into evil.
With the aforementioned understanding, charity will not be a problem to us because he/she that loves God truly is never mean with his finances or wealth. Rather, he/she follows the lead of Mary Magdalene, Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Sussana who catered for Jesus’ needs and those of his apostles from their personal funds. These were not mean spirited with their possessions, they used them for the good of God’s kingdom here on earth and they will be forever remembered. Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord, “wealth is not appropriate for the mean-spirited and gold is of no use to misers…To whom will they be generous when they are stingy with themselves and do not enjoy what is their own?” (Sirach 14:3&5). (These are the type that are called in street language ‘Money miss road’.)
We are challenged today to be godly, righteous and content with what we have. We are invited to avoid avarice and the unruly clamouring for wealth; that so, we’d be staying clear of temptation and possible evil. Should we be blessed however, we are still exhorted to be generous and kind to those who lack and also to the ministers of God.
Also, on this day when Holy Mother Church celebrates Andrew Kim, Paul Chong Hasang and companions, the martyrs of Korea; may I encourage us never to be afraid of the world and its torments, for God is always with us. The prophecy of Isaiah 43:2 reminds us that even when we pass through the river or fire, neither the waters nor flames will engulf us because God is with us. He will protect us from danger and keep us safe. He’ll guide our going out and our coming in (Ps. 121: 7-8) hence we need not be afraid. The saints of God we celebrate today believed in God’s love and protection too much and wouldn’t be intimidated by the powers that be to denounce their faith. Of course they were persecuted and killed during the century of persecution in Korea; however, their blood became the seedbed of Christianity there. In fact, after the Philippians, according to statistics, Korea is the most Christian community in Asia. May we valiantly hold on to our faith come what may…amen
FEED AND EDUCATE ONE