HOMILY FOR THE 16TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR C
THEME: BLESSING THROUGH KINDNESS.
BY: FR A. N. ABIAGOM, CM.
HOMILY FOR SUNDAY JULY 17 2022
READINGS: Genesis 18:1-10a; Colossians 1:24-28; Luke 10:38-42.
(1.) Dear people of God, in the first reading the question of how God appeared to Abraham is important for consideration. The beginning of the first reading (Gen 18:1-2) tells us that ‘the Lord appeared to Abraham, who looked up and saw three men.’ The appearance of the Lord to Abraham is connected with the three men that were seen by Abraham at the lifting up of his eyes. Although it was not specifically mentioned that those men were angels of the Lord, the role they played in the narrative (v. 10) reflects the Hebrew meaning of the word “angel” (mal·’aḵ) – “A messager of God.” They delivered the Lord’s message to Abraham that “his wife Sarah shall have a son.”
(2.) However, it is important to note the fact that the message of good tidings from the three men came to Abraham after he had welcomed them into his home and was hospitable to them. Abraham was kind to them. He could simply not have bothered inviting them into his home, talkless of showing them hospitality. At the end, we see how the promise of God’s blessing of a child to Abraham became assured through the message of the three men.
(3.)The attitude of Abraham towards the three men posits a challenge to our attitudes as Christians today. How kind are we to one another? Are we kind to strangers? Do we show kindness to each other in our respective families through our words an actions? God appeared to Abraham in the three men. Angels sometimes walk as men among us. Hebrews 13:2 tells us “not to neglect to show hospitality to strangers, because some have entertained Angel’s without knowing it.”
(4.) As Christians, unless we possess the spirit of Christ in us, it will not be possible to show love by being kind to others. Kindness often requires sacrifice. In the love of Christ for us, the real meaning of sacrifice is revealed. In the second reading, St. Paul talks of “Christ in you” as the “hope of glory” (Col 1:27). The phrase “Christ in you” is very significant. Christ is the mystery hidden through the ages that has now been made known to the saints (Col 1:26). Christ has to reflect in our lives and attitudes towards others. We ought to remember always the words of Christ in Mt 5:40 – “whatsoever you do to the least of my brethren, that you do unto me.”
(5.) A man invited Jesus to his house for lunch while he was praying, and Jesus agreed to be his guest. At the slated time for his arrival, it was a poor and dirty looking man who knocked at the man’s door. When he opened the door to see whom it was that had knocked, he was infuriated and sent the poor man dressed in shabby clothes away. The next time he prayed, he told Jesus he was disappointed that he did not honour his invitation. But Jesus told him he was mistaken, as he was the one who came in the form of a poor and dirty looking man but was driven away.
(6.) Can it be said that Martha played a useless role at the visit of Jesus to their home by being preoccupied with many things, most probably in view of making Jesus comfortable? The answer is No! Nevertheless, our visitors need us to spend time with them and not simply running up and down to serving them food and drink throughout their visit to us. By listening to Jesus like Mary in the gospel, sitting at his feet (Luke 10:39), our hearts will be transformed to the hearts of mercy and like Abraham we will be able to show kindness to others (even strangers).
Happy Sunday dear friends!