Homily for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
Theme: The desire to be successful
By: Fr. Cyril Unachukwu CCE
Homily for Sunday September 22 2019
The desire of every normal mind is to make it in life; to make a difference; to create an indelible impression in the minds of those around us. This desire in itself is noble and worthy of praise. But then, the manner one wishes to achieve this desire can either be creative or destructive; it can either be negative or positive; it can either be honest or deceitful; it can either be holy or mundane; it can either be right or wrong. May we always desire according to the mind and will of God; Amen.
God speaking through the mouth of the Prophet Amos (Amos 8:4-7) in the First Reading reminds us that every wrong and deceitful deal we engage ourselves into will surely bring us to face the wrath of God. Remember, “the Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob; surely I will never forget any of their deeds.”
This prophecy is very pertinent to us; especially in our country where most of the goods and services have been reduced to the barest sub-standard level because of the ‘I must make it by all means’ syndrome. We have sub-standard education; sub-standard goods in the markets; sub-standard healthcare services; sub-standard government projects; and even our reasoning patterns have been subjected to this level of sub-standardness. Otherwise, how can we explain that our leaders travel outside the country and see all the beautiful structures and order of things and fail to create those types of things over here? How can you explain that every one of us want things to be better but cannot make the slightest sacrifice to create a new order? I think I agree with the slogan that “Change Begins with Me.” If we do not change our sub-standard way of reasoning, the desire to succeed will breed an abnormal level of selfishness in us that will make us cheat others and fill everywhere with sub-standard goods and services that will make us continue to live sub-standard lives in our country.
This is so true, because, as Jesus himself reminded us in the Gospel Reading (Luke 16:1-13), “you cannot serve God and mammon.” The indecision in us to serve God sincerely and honestly is leading us to waste God’s goods and gifts to us like this steward in the Gospel Reading. We waste our God given human resources and talents because of sub-standard education and inability of our leaders to create avenues in which we can explore and develop our intellectual and innate positive proclivities. We waste lives because of sub-standard healthcare system and influx of sub-standard goods and drugs in the market. We waste our natural resources through the activities of many tribal and religious agitations in our country like Boko-Haram, Niger-Delta, IPOB, etc. Our desire to succeed must be based on hard work, sincerity and honesty. Otherwise, we become slaves of two masters; truly serving none and never enjoying the full benefits of none.
With Saint Paul in the Second Reading (I Tim 2:1-8) we offer prayers and petitions to God to give us the grace to put right our mentalities and create within us new attitudes to life. To understand that it is noble to desire to be successful but abnormal to desire to succeed at the expense of other people. We may not be comfortable with the turn-out of things around us, but this does not in any way demean the truth value of the fact that ‘Change Begins with Me.’ God help me to be an agent of true change! May God also make you an agent of true change!
May God bless our desires to be successful and help us to understand that our success is most meaningful when we succeed together as a family; Amen. Happy Sunday; Fr. Cyril CCE