HOMILY FOR THE 19TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR C
THEME: CHRISTIAN FAITH
BY: Fr Cyril Unachukwu CCE
HOMILY FOR SUNDAY AUGUST 7 2022
Faith is a very powerful reality. True faith inspires, strengthens, encourages and guides one to do things beyond human imagination. Faith enables us to discover the right orientation for our lives and intimately connects us to the very Source of life. Faith invites all to mission, to reach out to others and to inspire others to come to encounter God through our words and actions. Faith makes us open to knowledge, especially the knowledge of God that is the Source of every other form of knowledge. Faith makes us ready to do good and to avoid evil; and to be constantly prepared for the Second Coming of Christ in glory. May our faith in God enable us to become positive forces for good in the world; Amen.
One characteristic element of the Christian Faith is its unitive principle that links the past and the present together with the future. The Christian Faith brings believers to look beyond the past and to positively utilise all the opportunities of the present in such a way as to become heirs of God’s promises of a glorious future in His Kingdom. With this, one can understand the words of the Second Reading (Heb 11:1-2, 8-19) as it speaks of faith as that which “can guarantee the blessings that we hope for, or prove the existence of the realities that at present remain unseen.” There have always been the tendencies that always attempt to reduce reality to that which is visible to the physical eyes, to lose sight of the future that transcends the physical world and to reduce life to the biological and material. Faith, on the contrary, leads us beyond these tendencies to the fuller vision of reality and existence. Faith reveals the eschatological dimension of the present. Life is bigger than the here and now. The temporal/biological/physical life is only but one side of the coin. The other side of the coin speaks of eternity and it is greatly linked to the biological life. This is to say that whatever we do now determines the condition of life we shall have in the future; eternity is prepared for within the contexts of temporalities. The heroes and heroines of faith are those who were able to discover this great link. Discovering this eschatological dimension of the present enlightens our choices and informs our actions. All the great men and women of faith we heard of in the Second Reading (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, etc) were those who discovered this dimension of the present. This is also true of all the saints. They looked beyond the here and now to see the eternity that makes the rotation of the hands of time meaningful and indicative.
The different lessons Jesus taught His disciples in the Gospel Reading (Luke 12:32-48) were focused on the meaningful use of the present life and its opportunities in order to gain the unquantifiable blessings and promises of the life to come. The prospects are so huge and the process very tensed that one is ordinarily inclined to be afraid. Against this fear, Jesus commands us: “there is no need to be afraid, little flock, for it has pleased your Father to give you the Kingdom.” Our knowledge of God’s journey with our fathers in the faith remains a source of encouragement for us. The First Reading (Wisdom 18:6-9) speaks of the experience of our forebears in these words; “once they saw what kind of oaths they had put their trust in, they would joyfully take courage.” It is always the wish of God that we all be saved (1 Tim 2:4) and that is why He offers us opportunities upon opportunities. Fear is one of the things that limit our progress. In the place of fear, Jesus invites us to a form of courageous preparation; “sell your possessions and give alms… see that you are dressed for action and have your lamps lit… be faithful and wise stewards of God’s household.” The journey to eternal life with God is never passive. It involves a conscious and active participation in God’s project according to the means, opportunities, strength and graces which God offers us. Words are good and noble, but actions speak louder than words. Faith is alive and healthy when it inspires noble and salvific actions that help us to grow stronger in our relationship with God and with one another. Our faith in God must be a commendable force for the building of a just and peaceful society. Our faith in God must keep us focused on the Life to come in our choices and actions. Our faith in God must make us better men and women in our families, in the Church, in our respective communities and in the world at large. True faith is a Gift from God!
Heavenly Father, we humbly and earnestly pray that You renew within us Your precious gift of faith. May our faith in You inspire our choices and actions, and keep us focused on the glory of life without end. May our faith in You transform us into concrete witnesses of Your presence in the world; Amen. Happy Sunday;
Fr Cyril Unachukwu CCE