Homily for Saturday November 6th 2021
Saturday of the 31st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle I
Theme: KEEP JESUS AT THE CENTRE OF YOUR LIFE
By: Rev Fr Utazi Prince Marie Benignus
MEMORIAL OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
Romans 16: 3-9, 16, 22-27; Psalm 145: 2-3, 4-5, 10-11; Luke 16: 9-15I pray for you: May you continue to be Christ-centered
The invention of the wheel was a key turning point in human development. How? A wheel must have a hub or center around which it turns. Without a hub or center, the wheel will not rotate smoothly. Everything else (spokes and rim) are related to the hub of the wheel. If the wheel is not balanced so that it does not circle the hub uniformly, then the wheel will soon wear out. Now, the hub of our existence should be the Lord Jesus. Everything else in our lives should turn around our relationship with Jesus, His Father, and the Holy Spirit. If we allow the Lord Jesus to be the center of our lives, we will be able to operate as smoothly as possible. Serving God is the call of all who follow the ways of the Lord Jesus.
Saint Paul summarizes his whole letter: God has revealed the divine mystery to all who are willing to call upon the name of the Lord Jesus in faith. God, through Jesus, has made the message of salvation known. This Good News is able to be grasped by not only the Jews but by all people through faith. The purpose of the divine revelation is the glorification of the majesty and mastery of God over all peoples and things.
The psalmist urges all things and every person to praise the Lord in response to all that God has done. The Responsorial psalm today is a proclamation of praise of the majesty of God. The only fitting response to the benevolence of God is to give thanks to the Lord especially by exalting the great deeds God has done.
In the Gospel today, Jesus urges His disciples to serve only God and not to make money or fame their master. Even though the words of Jesus in the Gospel today are addressed first to His disciples, the Pharisees also hear His message and are upset at His teaching. Jesus tells His followers that they can only have one thing (or Person) take the center stage in their lives. God can be the only master they serve; otherwise they will be enslaved by whatever they make their priority. If they seek wealth or fame, they will have to serve that master and not be free. It is only when one completely submits to God that one has the freedom to live with a wealth that is beyond this world.
Dear Sisters and Brothers, whatever takes priority in our lives is what we place on the throne of our lives and that is what we serve and that is what controls what we do. Anyone or anything which we place on the throne of our lives has power over us. It can lead us to serve that which is in the center of our lives. We lose our freedom when we serve anything or anyone except the Lord Jesus. When we place Jesus on the throne of our lives, we end up being liberated to act as disciples of the Lord Jesus. We are empowered to act like Jesus and work for the Good of others and of ourselves. There have been times in my life when I have enthroned certain people or values and therefore had to remove the Lord Jesus from the center of my life. One of the values that I put on the chair in the middle of my circle was popularity. I wanted people to like me. It forced me to be a people pleaser. I failed in that, at least in my own mind, because I could not make all people happy all the time. I ended burning myself out as I tried to do things that would make other people like me. It is only when I re-establish the supremacy of the Lord Jesus in my life that I was set free. I dont worry about what other people think of me. I continue to be of assistance to others, not so that they will like me, but because I know that is what the Lord Jesus is asking of me. I am seeking to serve God by helping others and doing what is for their good. As I continue to keep Lord Jesus on the throne of my life, I can act in a way that is pleasing to God and I can join the psalmist in praising God, Every day will I bless You, Lord, and I will praise Your name forever and everYour greatness is unsearchable.
*MEDITATION* Who or what is sitting on the throne in the center of my life? What demands are made of me by whatever (or whoever) is the center of my life? Do I feel enslaved to that which is at the center or do I feel liberated by placing the Lord Jesus at the center of my life? What can I do to help others see that which they value most in their lives and help them center in on the Lord Jesus?
*PRAYER* Lord God, we beg you to continue to fill us with the gifts of Your Holy Spirit so that we can have the strength, wisdom, and love to go out and serve You by caring for our brothers and sisters. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
*O DIVINE WORD, WHO TOOK FLESH FOR HUMAN SAKE, REDEEM US IN OUR SITUATION*
© Rev Fr Utazi Prince Marie Benignus