HOMILY FOR SATURDAY OF THE 1ST WEEK OF LENT.
THEME: LOVING IN GOD’S WAY.
BY: Fr. Karabari Paul.
‘If you are good only to your friends, you are no better than other people.’
It is simply instinctual to love those who love us. We mentally and unconscious access every action by gains. In other words, we can often find ourselves loving those whom we like, the people we are friends with, the ones who are most like us, and the ones we think are easy to love. However, Jesus wants us to go beyond the standard of the natural self. We have to be like Jesus and the Father.
God’s love never changes depending on what we do or never do. In the Gospel of today (Matthew 5:43-48), Jesus said, ‘Your Father in heaven…causes the sun to rise on good people and…evil people…he sends rain to those who do right and…those who do wrong. If you love only the people who love you, you will get no reward. Even the tax collectors do that. And if you are good only to your friends, you are no better than other people. Even those who don’t know God [do that]…you must be perfect [mature] just as your Father in heaven is.’ God’s love towards us is ‘perfect’ because it is unconditional and non-judgmental.
The Bible says when we were His enemies, ‘[He] showed his great love…by sending Christ to die for us’ (Romans 5:8). And we need to make sure that we love others without judging them too. The Bible says: ‘Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love…if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another’ (1 John 4:8,11). It couldn’t be clearer – we are called to love others as God loves us.
So let us try and show His love to everyone, not just those we find easy to love. It can be difficult to pray for our enemies, but Christ Himself prayed for those who made themselves His enemies. We can do the same. Moving against the tide of the world in obedience to divine precepts is a sure way of becoming like the perfect father. We have to begin to do that which the world can not do nor will ever ask us to do. We have not started loving if our love is selective. It is also unrewarding if that same love is aimed at what we stand to gain now or in the future from whoever is receiving it. GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE. May God have mercy on us, heal our world, bless and protect us all. Instil in us the grace to love in accordance with your desire through Christ Our Lord Amen. Pls, stay safe. Good morning
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