Homily for Monday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle II
Theme: Sacrilegious and pretentious worship is abominable before the Lord.
By: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
Homily for Monday July 13 2020
READINGS: Isaiah. 1: 10-17, Ps. 50, Matthew 10: 34-11: 1
Beloved, from the readings we can say that one thing that puts fear in humans in their relationship with God or the behaviour they put up is that before God nothing is hidden both our lives and even our secret thoughts and intentions are very clear before him. Nobody can hide in his presence anything whatsoever. God knows us through and through but patiently keeps quiet as if he does not know. His patience and silence does not mean he is comfortable with our ways of life or that he cannot react by showing his anger against us at the opportune time.
In the first reading, God exhausted his patience with Sodom and Gomorrah and had to speak out in anger and unleashed punishment against them. He made them know how bad he feels with their life of sacrilege and pretence and declared his decision against them. The people were living in pretence their covenantal life and covering a lot of their iniquities by offering sacrifices as if God can be bribed and silenced by our inglorious sacrifices. He identifies their sacrifices and burnt offerings as sacrilegious and their long prayers as mere recitals that make no spiritual impact in his sight. He declared that he does not take delight in the blood of bulls or of lambs or of he-goats and said that it is enough offering of this their burnt offerings to him. The prayers they make fall on deaf ears. God abhors their religious practices and their routine way and manner of worship is no more pleasing in his sight. God told them that he can no more endure iniquity and solemn assembly of theirs.
Beloved, what can God identify in the religious and moral life of us his people that are pretentious and abominable? The people do not give ear to the teachings of the Lord God. They carry iniquities and multitude of sins and come in his presence to worship him as if he does not see. They do evils under cover and appear religious before him in solemn assembly. This is typical of our behaviour before God; our hypocrisy is well known by God.
Very many Christians appear sanctimonious and pious when they come to the Church and take up religious duties to cover their true selves. Many attend religious and spiritual gatherings to deceive the unsuspecting people. They make people think and actually believe that they are good. Many contribute generously to the Church and pay heavy tithes and appear humble and helpful to the Church; they are given many responsibilities on trust.
Many Christians decorate their homes with much religious articles and altars and many religious images for worship to show external holiness and deceive many people. Today God addresses us as he did the people of Sodom and Gomorrah by saying: I am weary of bearing them and so when you stretch forth your hands in prayer, I will not listen because your hands are full of blood. God speaks to us today about our sinful ways that we pretend to hide; he said that he knows all and is no more ready to stomach them.
Beloved, with these bad ways of living in sinful ways of life and pretentiously hiding it, that is why he will not bring peace to the world of sin but fire and division. The division would be like a situation where even in the same family; people will stand up and challenge the other for the evils done. For those who wish to live a genuine Christian life, they will be at war of faith with those whose lives are pretentious and sacrilegious. This division of faith, belief and doctrine shall happen even in the same household. The ones who love parents and family members more than their God and faith would lose their good relationship with God. Jesus gives us various instructions that would help us live a holy life. We shall receive blessing from God if we take good care of his prophets and holy people.
May the Lord help me to live a blameless life and may our sacrifices not be rejected by God due to our negligence but may they find favour in his sight. Lord let not your anger burn fiercely as to reject the prayers and devotions of our heart, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf