Homily for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
Theme: The best rejoicing is in, from and with the Lord not in this material world.
By: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
Homily for Sunday September 29 2019
READINGS: Amos 6: 1. 4-7, 1Timothy 6: 11-16, Luke 16: 19-31
In this world nothing lasts long and forever but fades as the song says, Fade, fade earthly joy, Jesus is mine… Everything changes and decays and changes form to deterioration. Only what is godly lasts and endures forever. There is nothing any human being can have in this world that can give him lasting joy and peace and it cannot be achieved here on earth. Unfortunately this truth in the wisdom of the world that amounts to stupidity eludes us. Humans spend a lot of time in self deceit for things that give momentary pleasure, satisfaction and seeming joy. It is so sad when we preoccupy our efforts with this vain glory and pursuit. It is sadder when we get them through wrong means and use them to intimidate, boast, oppress and humiliate others. This truth finds its way in the first reading of today and the gospel while the second reading gives us the panacea to lasting joy and peace.
In the first reading, we see the exposition and message of Prophet Amos about those who boast of earthly things and pleasure and who feel satisfied about the things of this world and not concerned about the things yet to come. These are people who live without hope for the future end of man. Prophet Amos gives to them words of woe because they delude themselves not knowing the fate that awaits them. Those of them who are contented with what they have here on earth not working for what the next world holds for them are in difficulty. They feel at ease and secure and they work towards making this world a bed of roses. They never accepted any suffering or sacrifice for others to be happy and have things easy as well. These people have no feeling over the general sufferings of others and the common good. As far as they are satisfied and contented, they feel every other problem concerning the rest in the community is not their concern. They do not lift any finger to help or ameliorate other’s problems as if the whole world revolves around them. They never know that their joy is ephemeral and for a while within this spacio-temporality.
Beloved, it is based on this that the gospel presented us the end of such people and the turn of events on the last day for those who lived in hope. Their highest joy is in God and they worked for it while on earth. It is not their fault that they never had good things in the world. Not having good things in the world is not a necessary condition to gain the joys of heaven rather it is the attitude applied in it while on earth. If one through no fault of his or hers never had opportunity to earthly joy and took it with good fate resigning to the will of God, then he lives in hope of compensation from the Lord especially if he takes it as a cross from the Lord and took it in joy without being envious of those the Lord blessed with it. It is not also a criterion of everlasting pain to be in joyful situation in the world. It also depends on what attitude put in it. If one uses his joyful earthly opportunity to assist humanity and see them as blessings from the Lord of which they are mere custodians and so use them to serve humanity, they would not face the fate of the rich man of the gospel today. Our attitude to things of this world is the main determinants of our fate in the world after. The problem with the rich man is not because he was rich but because he saw the riches as his power and god and dealt badly with others like Lazarus. The way out is given us by the second reading which marshalled out the virtues necessary. We are to apply ourselves to righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness and gentleness.
We pray that the Lord who upholds the weak and the orphan would uphold us in this world especially when we find ourselves in difficulties and material challenges and wants. We pray that whatever we have here on earth would not posses us and control us or lead us to wicked and uncharitable life, rather may we use whatever we are endowed with to serve the cause of humanity and make others happy by ameliorating their sufferings, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf