Homily for the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Theme: The Goodness of God
By: Fr. Cyril Unachukwu CCE
Homily for Sunday June 21 2020
The Mission to cooperate in the diffusion of the goodness of God in the world through our multiplication of good works and words is never without opposition. This opposition is spearheaded by the Evil One who goes about with his legion causing confusion and looking for ways to reduce the volume of good works and words that God’s sons and daughters perform in the name of Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit and to the greater glory of the Triune God and to the good of all men and women. May we constantly overcome the Devil in his opposition of the good by our persistent performance of good works and words; Amen.
The Prophet Jeremiah was besieged by this force of opposition in the First Reading of today (Jer 20:10-13) in his mission to keep the people of God focused in the right direction and to grow persistent in doing good by the virtue of their relationship with God. This opposition came in the form of severe persecution of the prophet because of the message of God He prophesied. The irony of Jeremiah’s case was that the force of opposition, in the form persecution, came through those who should have been the greatest source of encouragement to him and those who should have joined him to expand the diffusion of goodness. On the contrary, these were the very persons who joined forces against him; “I hear so many disparaging me, terror from every side! Denounce him! Let us denounce him! All those who used to be my friends watched for my downfall, Perhaps he will be seduced into error. Then we will master him and take our revenge!” The Devil can use those we least expect to attempt achieving his purpose of opposing and diminishing the spread of goodness. But Goodness never ceases to diffuse itself in all directions and the Devil is only entertaining an unrealistic utopia trying to obstruct its diffusion! In cooperating with the course of promotion and diffusion of goodness, being persecuted or rejected is never a conclusive sign that we are in the wrong or that the message we bring is false. It is only the smoke that is borne out of the furnace of opposition that the Devil ignites. It is a futile attempt to obstruct the diffusion of goodness.
Our Lord Jesus Christ was aware of the reality of this fact that He never failed to prepare the minds of His disciples to be firm when the hour of opposition comes and when persecution arises. In His words in the Gospel Reading (Mt 10:26-33) Jesus said to His followers; “Do not be afraid… What I say to you in the dark, tell in the daylight; what you hear in whispers, proclaim from the housetops. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; fear him rather who can destroy both body and soul in hell.” The attitude of the Christian in the time of opposition, persecution and systematic resistance of the good is to insist in performing good works and speaking about goodness. This is so because goodness is eternally victorious. Every form of opposition to the manifestation of the good is only a form of simulation that is never grounded. Every form of good act is an act of glorification of God the source of all goodness; an act of proclamation of the Gospel of Christ, Who is goodness made incarnate and touchable, and a great manifestation of the Holy Spirit who empowers us to do good against all opposition and resistance, and in the face of persecution. In doing good, we make known the evil that the Devil is and we make God known to all people assured of the fact that “if anyone declares himself for me in the presence of men, I will declare myself for him in the presence of my Father in heaven. But the one who disowns me in the presence of men, I will disown in the presence of my Father in heaven.” Just like Jeremiah and all the apostles and saints, every Christian is a minister of goodness. The more we do good in our families and everywhere we find ourselves, in words and in deeds, is the more we make the world a better place. In the face of opposition, persecution and resistance, we remain certain that as ministers of goodness, we are forever victorious just like goodness itself. Faithfulness to the spread of goodness despite the oppositions, persecutions and resistance disconnects us more and more from the failure and limitations of Adam and unites us more and more to the victory and merits of Christ for “if it is certain that through one man’s fall so many died, it is even more certain that divine grace, coming through the one man, Jesus Christ, came to so many as an abundant free gift” (Romans 5:12-15).
Lord God, make us firm and resolute in our little ways of making the victory of goodness known to the whole world and its spread to the ends of the earth, so that even in the face of opposition, persecution and resistance we are sustained by the presence of Christ in us and upheld by the power of the Holy Spirit; Amen.
Happy Sunday; Fr Cyril CCE