Homily for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
Theme: Always be prepared and ready
By: Fr. Cyril Unachukwu CCE
Homily for Sunday August 11 2019
Homily: One of the deepest mysteries of life is the fact that its beginning and end are never known nor determined by us. They are simply gifts from God. The ultimate purpose of life is a successful return back to God, Who alone can give and sustain life and have the power to call us back. This can only be done through a constant and progressive preparation and readiness in faith, hope and charity and through the grace of God at work in us. May God’s divine assistance always remain with us; Amen.
The realization of any goal whatsoever requires a certain form of readiness and preparedness. This is also very true about our journey towards God. In line with this, Jesus, in the Gospel Reading of today (Luke 12:32-48), admonished His disciples on the need to be ever ready for the Day of the Lord; “see that you are dressed for action and have your lamps lit. Be like men waiting for their master to return from the wedding feast, ready to open the door as soon as he comes and knocks.” The need for readiness and preparedness become more serious faced with the fact that we never knew when we were conceived nor when we were born; and when we will be called is also unknown to us. It is God Who decides when any of these would take place. Ours is to get ourselves prepared and ready. To be prepared and ready require a substantial level of faith, hope and love. To be ready and prepared involve a positive and proactive response to God’s invitation to us like Abraham. This is not possible without faith. Faith is that trustful disposition that enables us to open ourselves to God and to enter into a deep and renewing relationship with Him. In other words, “Faith is a personal act; the free response of the human person to the initiative of God who reveals Himself” (CCC, n. 166). Also, it is impossible to be constantly ready and to be prepared without hope because “redemption is offered to us in the sense that we have been given hope, trustworthy hope, by virtue of which we can face our present: the present, even if it is arduous, can be lived and accepted if it leads towards a goal, if we can be sure of this goal, and if this goal is great enough to justify the effort of the journey” ( _Spe Salvi_ , n. 1). The Christian hope is the hope that saves; the hope that leads us through to God. Certainly, we cannot be ready and prepared without love. A heart that does not love does not know God and has never encountered Him. In loving, we show that we are truly sons and daughters of God. The operation of these theological virtues within us keeps our hearts firm in the contemplation and practice of the celestial mysteries “for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
This was the story of all of our fathers in the faith. In the Second Reading (Heb 11:1-2. 8-19), the life and experience of Abraham was presented to us as a model on how our faith in God, our hope in His promises and our love for Him keep us always in constant mode of preparedness and readiness to meet with the Lord. Inspired by this operation of the theological virtues, Abraham “looked forward to a city founded, designed and built by God.” This City is God Himself in Whom we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). This City has been a major content of God’s journey with us in the History of Salvation “foretold to our ancestors, so that, once they saw what kind of oaths they had put their trust in, they would joyfully take courage” (Wis 18:6-9). The basic questions today are; are you personally ready to meet with the Lord? How can one be prepared and ready to behold God? To be prepared and ready require a fruitful and daily practice of the virtues of faith, hope and love. To be prepared and ready involve doing good always and avoiding evil. To be prepared and ready require being persistent and consistent in putting into practice the Word of God and doing His will always. To be prepared and ready demand being happy and joyful for God’s gracious extension of invitation to us to come to Him for “happy are the people the Lord has chosen as His own”. To be prepared and ready request that we recognise the gross incapacity of human effort alone to lead us to salvation and the absolute indispensability of God’s grace to guide and direct us.
Lord, without Your grace we lose sight of the goal You have prepared for us. Fill us with the grace, that in putting Your Word into practice and in doing Your will, we may steadily and stably make ourselves ready to receive Your Eternal Rewards; Amen.
Happy Sunday; Fr Cyril CCE