Homily for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
Theme: DOES LIFE END ON EARTH?
By: Fr. A.N. Abiagom,CM.
Homily for Sunday September 29 2019
(Am 6:1A, 4-7; I Tim 6:11-19; Lk 16:19-31)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, permit me to ask you a question, “Does life end here on earth?” The way in which alot of people live their lives here on earth seem to suggest that they think that life ends here on earth. Could it be true that once a person dies, the person goes into a state of annihilation?
The living word of God reveals to us that life does not end on earth. There is life of death and there is death after death. The story of the rich man and Lazarus in the gospel reading is very clear on the subject of life after death and death after death.
The Church in line with the divine revelation, teaches that there are four last things; death, judgement, heaven or hell. In other words, after death comes judgement and of judgement comes the reward of eternal life or the punishment of eternal condemnation.
Whether we will die and be judged someday is not an issue of doubt. However, where will we will spend eternity is an issue of deep reflection.
In the first reading from the prophet Amos and in the gospel reading from the gospel according to Saint Luke, there is a message of reversal which reveals that those who oppress the weak will in turn be in a deplorable state themselves. It is a message that announces strongly the fleeting nature of earthly authority and possession and the reality of a coming retribution on those who trample on others using their position, wealth and fame.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the second reading from the first letter of Saint Paul to Timothy calls us to a life of holiness, faith, patience and love in keeping the commandments of the Lord. Do we really care about the commandments of the Lord? Do we endeavour to keep them? Sometimes, we deliberately break the commandments of the Lord, refusing to observe his ordinances and to keep his statues while thinking we are here on earth to live forever or that at death, life ends completely and so there is no need submitting ourselves lovingly to the laws of the Lord.
I tell you dear people of God, whatever we sow, we shall surely reap. Our good life and works will surely go with us in the same way as ones bad life and works will go with him or her. If we live well in the love of God and neighbour, we will go to heaven when we die. But if someone lives in hatred of God and neighbour, that person will spend eternity in the fires of hell which does not quench.
It is now that we are alive that we can make amends. In truth, there is no repentance in the grave. It is while we still breathe that we can make choice for God or against God. The rich man asked that Father Abraham should send Lazarus to his brothers on earth so that they might live well and not come to hell when they die, but Father Abraham told him that ‘his brother should listen to the prophets who are amongst them.’ You have a prophet among you today who right now, is saying the truth of God’s word to you. Will you listen to him? Will you think that he is saying nothing meaningful?
Dear people of God, earthly life is not eternal, we came but to pass through, to do the will of God and not our will. Today we are here and tomorrow we will be no more here. Let us pray for the grace to live in the love of God and of neighbour always so that after our lives here on earth, we may spend eternity with God in paradise.