Homily for the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
By: Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Homily for Sunday August 25 2019
Today’s first reading is taken from Isaiah 66:18-21, in which Isaiah foretold the future glory of Jerusalem to which people of all nations would come. Nations free from tribalism, nepotism, discrimination, racism and marginalization.
Prophet Isaiah preached at the time nepotism, tribalism and others like racism, discrimination, exclusion and marginalization were being practiced.
Tribalism is the state where individuals within a particular tribe emphasize strong loyalty to their community while exalting themselves as superior to the rest. As such, the commitment to one’s tribe results into strong negative emotions for any person outside the group.
People in power favor their tribesmen allowing them to get state luxuries and special treatment at the expense of their counterparts. For this reason, loyalty to one’s ethnicity has greater weight than loyalty to one’s country.
In Kenya for example, job market nepotism and tribalism are two vices dominating. Individuals from specific tribes are awarded jobs in most of the public institutions despite being qualified for such positions.
As a result, those that are qualified and well deserving of those jobs lose out and end up living in abject poverty.
Although the churches in Kenya are supposed to be a neutral body, some churches have since compromised with tribalism. As such, the church skews to preferential political parties belonging to specific tribes.
During general elections, churches are seen endorsing the candidate of their choosing and urging its followers to vote for that candidate. Churches no longer provide the required guidance on matters of national importance without favoritism.
The second reading is from St. Paul to the Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13, in which St. Paul encouraged Christians to be ready to face adversity and hardships. He compared them with athletes who endure so much in order to win a contest.
The Gospel is from St. Luke 13:22-30. Jesus passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” He answered them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.
After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying, ‘Lord, open the door for us.’ He will say to you in reply, ‘I do not know where you are from.
And you will say, ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’ Then he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!’ And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves cast out.
And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the kingdom of God. For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”
Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ