Homily for Saturday of the 1st Week of Lent
Theme: Be holy as your heavenly Father is holy
By: Fr. Francis Onwunali
Homily for Saturday March 12 2022
The message of our readings today as usual is challenging- obey God’s commandment so as to be holy as your heavenly Father is holy. In Jesus, the old law of “justice and mercy is transformed with grace and loving-kindness”.
In the first reading (Deut 26: 16-19), Moses said to the people: The Lord your God today commands you to observe these laws and customs; you must keep and observe them with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deut. 26: 16-19). The word “commandment” is derived from two Latin words, “com” meaning “together” and “manus” meaning “hand”. Thus commandment allows a coming together of the hands of the giver and the receiver. If we keep God’s commandment, our hands are joined together with God’s hands. We become truly who we are- “Imago DEI” (Image of God).
This is why Jesus in the gospel (Matt 5: 43-48) raised the commandment to higher level of loving our enemies and praying for those who persecute us, for such is what He does. For humans, it is impossible, but if we join hands with Jesus, we can do that which He did and continues doing- loving unconditionally.
Dear friends, to be perfect is about completeness, wholeness, not lacking anything essential. This is not easy to arrive at! However, the love of God has the power to free us from every kind of evil or obstacle – selfishness, greed, anger, hatred, jealousy and envy. Am I ready to “join hands together with God”? Can I be courageous enough to step into the part of forgiveness and love which leads to freedom?
I pray as we journey in life today, we will strive to obey the commandments of God and with the Psalmist we can joyfully proclaim: “They are happy whose life is blameless, who follow God’s law! They are happy those who do His will, seeking Him with all their hearts” (Ps. 119: 1-2). Remember this: “our prayer for those who do us ill both breaks the power of revenge and releases the power of love to do good in the face of evil”. Have an obedience-full day!
Fr. Francis Onwunali