Homily for Monday of the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Theme: The Poison of Hatred.
By: Fr. Evaristus Abu
Homily for Monday September 9 2019
(Read Colossians 1:24-2:3, Psalm 54 and Luke 6:6-11)
“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church (Colossians 1:24).
The word ‘hatred’ can be defined as a “deep and emotional extreme dislike. It can be directed against individuals, groups, entities, objects, behaviours, or ideas. Hatred is often associated with feelings of anger, disgust and a disposition towards hostility.” According to St. Maria Gorretti in the movie produced about her life: “Hatred is worse than malaria.”
A person who hates is BLIND because hatred prevents him from appreciating his fellow human being as a person made in the image and likeness of God. He only sees loopholes and faults.
Hatred also makes a person DEAF in that he only wants to hear about negative things about the victim of his hatred and even when you tell him something good about that person, he becomes enraged with vicious criticism.
Hatred also makes a person DUMB in that he finds it difficult and impossible to use his mouth to speak well about the victim of his hate. He ceases every occasion to discredit the person painting him or her as worse than the devil.
Most times, we tend to disguise our hatred in the pretence of fighting a just cause or we may claim to be obeying certain laws, but the fact is that once there is hatred in our hearts, our worship of God is useless.
Once the Scribes and Pharisees allowed this poison enter their hearts, they found it difficult to appreciate anything good in Jesus Christ. They said He healed people by the power of Beelzebub, they said He had no regard for the Sabbath, they said He was a super-arrogant and proud person claiming power that only God has by attempting to forgive somebody’s sins. All these things, they did not voice out, but Jesus could read their hearts, he saw their hatred.
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus was in a Synagogue and there was a man there with a withered hand. Already filled with hatred, they did not think of the pain this man was going through, they did not consider the fact that he needed healing irrespective of whether or not it was a Sabbath day.
Beckoning on the man to come out in the open view of all, Jesus asked a simple question: “Is it against the law to do good or to do evil on the Sabbath day?” The hidden meaning of this question is that even when we may claim to be keeping the law, we could at the same time be doing evil if our keeping of the law becomes fuelled by hatred.
They couldn’t answer Jesus’ question so He said to the man: “Stretch forth your hand.” And instantly, he became well. Others were rejoicing and praising God, but those who had the poison in them who had become blind, deaf and dumb went about planning on how to destroy Jesus.
Hatred is deadly. Do not let it reign in your heart. Do not become infected by it simply because of what others do to you. *The real victim of hatred is not one who is hated but the one who allows this poison into his/her system.*
In the first reading, we see how Paul reacts to the suffering and hardships he endured in the hands of people who simply hated him for proclaiming Christ. He says “I REJOICE in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ…” When others hate us, we should not hate them back instead, we should rejoice and offer our sufferings to God.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, help me to love you above everything else and to love my neighbour as myself, Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Monday of the 23rd week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Colossians 1:24-2:3, Psalm 54 and Luke 6:6-11.).