HOMILY FOR THE 13TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR C
THEME: COMMITTED DISCIPLESHIP
BY: LIVINUS C. IGBODEKWE
HOMILY FOR SUNDAY JUNE 26 2022
Every disciple is rated by the degree of his commitment. Commitment is born out of a loving zeal. It is one thing to admire someone, and it is another thing to want to follow him/her. The real question should be: “Why do you want to follow a person?” I think that people may follow someone they admire for some values they believe that such persons have. Singers have fans who have interest in singing; Actors have fans who attach great value to acting; preachers have fans who have value for the Word. And, miracle workers have fans who like miracles. And so on.
Elijah moves from Mt Horeb to accomplish the task God gave him. It was really a time of divine justice. The sword of the Lord is stretched forth against the house of Ahab/Jezebel. God required three officials to execute such judgment – Hazael to be anointed king of Syria; Jehu to be anointed king of Israel; Elisha to be anointed prophet and successor of Elijah. It is remarkable that Elijah started with the last, Elisha. The throwing of the mantle was a prophetic action with some effectual power. Elisha was caught by that action and immediately resolved to follow Elijah. The yokes of oxen working on farm for him showed Elisha as a prosperous farmer. Yet he was ready to relinquish all to follow Elijah. And he followed and served Elijah faithfully till the end. And he received a double portion of Elijah’s spirit.
In the Gospel, Jesus set his face to Jerusalem and was returning through the Samaritan town. They opposed Jesus and his disciples for some hostile religious reasons. James and John were particularly infuriated that they asked leave from Jesus to call down fire on them. These disciples may have been keen lovers of Elijah and Elisha for their “ministry of fire”. But, Jesus rebuked them. This is how a human feels at provocations from perceived enemies. But, Jesus represents the way God acts in cases of antagonisms and oppositions. He would desire His disciples to learn compassion/love towards enemies than vendetta. Some Christians are like James and John. They feel that Christianity should be a kind of weapon for fighting their human enemies. Their prayer is always “fire” and “brimstones”. This is the reason for the many weird themes you see on certain church’s posters: “Your enemy must Die!” “Point and Kill”, “That Enemy Shall Die by Fire.” Jesus reveals that these titles are evil. He will rebuke these churches as He rebuked James and John. Follow Jesus not because of some ulterior motives. Put not your personal/family interests before the kingdom interest, and you shall be blessed as Elisha was, with even the graces you didn’t expect before you set out to follow Jesus.
Happy Sunday to you!