Homily for Monday of the 24th Week in Ordinary Time Year A
Theme: We must be intercessors for others and do it with unwavering faith.
By: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
Homily for Monday September 16 2019
READINGS: 1Timothy 2: 1-8, Ps. 28, Luke 7: 1-10
A Christian is supposed to be selfless like Christ who adopted us as sons and daughters of God and whom we emulate and carry his Spirit. Jesus was a man of the people and a man of all. St Paul as his close companion did same and offered his life as libation for all and tried to save all at all cost. This is the real mission of every person and true Christian.
Beloved, St Paul admonishes us this morning in the first reading that we have a spiritual duty and mission for all peoples especially those in authority. St Paul urges us to make supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings for all people, for kings, for traditional and political leaders in authority. First is that charity which is practical love calls us to this worthy mission because they need that support from us. Secondly when we do so for them, we stand to become the real beneficiaries of the good that would come from them when they do things well as it should be. We live in the same society with them and they affect us in one way or the other; no one is an island but each of us affect one another as we live in this community of humans called earth. The tone of the Christian prayer is pluralistic and all embracing, it is general and inclusive of all and not personal. Our liturgy is public and affects all. No Christian should see himself or herself as one whose duty is reserved to seek for his own comfort and those of his immediate family and close associates. When others are not carried along in good spiritual disposition and submission to the spirit and will of God, the effect of their misdeeds fall on us and we become the victims of their evil actions. There is an Igbo proverb that says: Whoever sees a fowl scattering faeces with the limbs, should chase it away for no one knows who would eat those limbs.
Beloved, everybody needs to be remembered in prayer and especially our leaders. There are many who do not believe in the power of prayers. There are many who do not know how and when to pray. There are those who do not even know that they need prayers and that God’s intervention is needed in their lives, yet they affect us with the consequences of their lives. These are those who by charity need our prayers. It is the desire of God as Paul said that in every gathering of Christians we must uplift our hands in prayer in holy accord. This supports what Jesus said that where two or more are gathered in his name that he is there. It compliments his saying that whatever we decree on earth is established in heaven. This is a holy act to be in prayerful intercession for others not only for ourselves. This is an act of sacrifice and love.
We see this spirit of intercession for others manifested in the gospel in the attitude of the centurion. Only true and genuine love can lead us to identify the needs of others and intercede on their behalf. The centurion in love of his slave as it is called treated him not like a slave but as a son and brother in Christ. He was concerned about his illness and asked for wider intercession through the elders of the Jews asking for the intervention of Jesus in his illness. The Jewish elders found the centurion worthy of help and supported him by bearing witness about him to Jesus. This centurion was said to have love for his nation which he showed in the life of the slave. This was what made Jesus to accept going to his house to cure the slave. The man manifested yet another virtue in addition to love; faith and respect for the higher authority and that of God. He refused Jesus coming to his house and declared himself unworthy to have Jesus under his roof. This made Jesus pronounce him as a man with a spectacular and unprecedented faith not ever seen in Israel. He was respectful and humble.
We pray that we may accept the duty of praying for our leaders who often are blind and faced with forces that are higher than them leading them to wrong decisions and spirit of destruction in executing their duties. We pray that we may above love for others posses the highest gift of faith that Jesus may commend us on the last day. If there is any time that the leadership of Nigeria needs prayerful intercession, it is now. May God intervene in their lives and the affairs of this nation through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf