HOMILY FOR THE 21ST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR C
THEME: THE REFINEMENT OF GOLD.
BY: Fr A. N Abiagom, CM.
HOMILY FOR SUNDAY AUGUST 21 2022
In the Old Testament, the blessing of the nations is tied to the blessing of Israel (Gen 12:3). When Israel sinned against God by her disobedience, she was exiled by the Babylonians (586 BC). The text of Isaiah 66 was written in the context of the rebuilding and dedication of the Second Temple (516 BC) in relation to the return of Judah (Southern Kingdom of Israel) from exile. The invitation of all the nations to Jerusalem reflects God’s salvation of the world through the salvation of Israel.
1. The first reading (Isa 66:18-21) begins with the declaration that “God knows the works and thoughts of the nations.” Since we are all citizens of one nation or another, God knows our respective works and thoughts, and the will of God is to bring us to know his glory.
2. The second reading (Heb 12:5-7, 11-13) emphasizes on the importance of godly discipline, considering how it brings out the best in us. Unfortunately many of us ignorantly or impatiently murmur when God is making straight our paths by taking us through the crooked lines of life.
3. The “narrow gate” which in the gospel reading (Luke 13:22-30) Jesus invites us to enter through, is the road of discipline that characterizes the love of God for us. It is love when a father corrects his child by way of discipline. Holiness of life cannot be possible without our following the narrow road.
(i.) The obedience of Jesus, his humble and loving submission to the will of the Father, as evident in his passion and death; makes vivid the meaning of “entering through the narrow gate.”
(ii.) The journey to the city of God where his glory will be revealed to us will require us to go through the narrow gate. A gold does not glitter in its crude form. Until it is refined either through fire (high temperature) or by chemical does it glittering feature emerge. As children of God, we should allow the love of God to purify us like gold.
(iii.) Humility, faithfulness in obedience, and patience in love are indispensable virtues required for enrollment and graduation from the “University of Discipline” unto which the word of God invites us today.
May the Lord grant us the grace to acknowledge the value of discipline and submit ourselves to it in love.
Happy Sunday dear friends.