Homily for Friday of the 3rd Week of Lent
Theme: Love is the Essence of Worship
By: Fr. Evaristus Abu
(Read Hosea 14:2-10, Psalm 81 and Mark 12:28-34)
“And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, ‘You are not far from the
kingdom of God.’ And after that no one dared to ask him any question” (Mark 12:34).
Reading through the Gospels, we are not used to seeing Jesus commend the scribes and Pharisees, but today we hear Jesus say to a Scribe that he is not far from the kingdom of God. So what is that thing that can make us close to heaven? It is our ability to make love a priority in our lives.
As Jesus told the Scribe, the first and most important of all the commandments is: “To love God with all your heart, soul and mind” and “to love your neighbour as yourself.” The truth is that once we are committed to loving God and our neighbours as ourselves, we cannot sin.
How? Loving God demands that we keep the first three commandments and loving our neighbour entails keeping the remaining seven. If we love our neighbours as ourselves, we would obey our parents, we will not kill or steal or commit adultery. We would not lie or covert our neighbour’s goods or spouse. Loving God demands that we do not serve other gods; that we keep His name holy and we honour the Sabbath day.
The prophet Hosea speaks to us today in our first reading: “Return to the Lord your God” that is to say, leave your idols, stop worshipping false gods and come back to God.
Has the love of God died in your heart? Are you finding it very difficult to pray? Do you consider time spent in church as wasted? These are clear signs that your heart has found another love and if you check very well, you have started bowing to other gods such as money, position, prestige, pleasure, achievement and the likes.
Love is not just a feeling, but a decision. Love is a sacrifice. Jesus praised the Scribe because he understood that: “to love our neighbour as ourselves is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” What you love is what you sacrifice for.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, break my heart of stone so that I can love you and my neighbours better. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Friday of the 3rd week of Lent. Bible Study: Hosea 14:2-10, Psalm 81 and Mark 12:28-34).
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