Homily for the 24th Sunday in the Ordinary Time Year B
Homily Theme: “FAITH WITHOUT GOOD WORKS IS DEAD!”
This is the 24th Sunday in ordinary time. The Christian faith is dynamically expressed in practical acts of charity. Saint James states clearly that “faith itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (Jas. 2:14-18). This practical demonstration of faith through charity invites all of us to be doers of the word and not hearers only. For this reason, the prophet Isaiah says: “The Lord opens my ears that I may hear; and I have not rebelled, I have not turned back” (Is. 50:5-9). Not rebelled or turned back in this sense implies putting what one hears into action.
At this point we see that being the disciple of Jesus requires total surrender to the will of the Master. It also involves suffering and having a deeper knowledge of whom the Master is. As we listen to the word of God, we acquire better knowledge. The question, “who do people say that I am?” Is a complex one. To answer it requires going beyond ordinary knowing and being in a deeper union with Jesus. The same question resounds in our ears today. Who is Jesus for you? Surprisingly, Jesus revealed his identity as the suffering Messiah, but Peter did not accept it (Cf. Mk. 8″27-35). Nothing should stand as an obstacle in putting our faith into practical use. Being a Christian is not a vaccine against suffering!
For this reason, Christians sometimes will experience injustice, marginalization, and persecution. This situation should motivate them to speak against the ills in the society. Faith in action should show itself when Christians stand for the poor, the orphan, the widow and the unborn child. All Christians should go the extra mile of defending the powerless, speaking against human trafficking, terrorism, kidnapping and killings of all kinds. This is the time to ask yourself: Is my faith alive or dead? To revive your faith, do something good to those in need today. Happy Sunday.
Fr. Cajetan Anyanwu