HOMILY FOR THE 2ND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR A.
THEME: Reflect on the purpose of your existence.
BY: Rev Fr Stephen ‘Dayo Osinkoya.
On this second Sunday in the ordinary time of the year we are called to reflect on the purpose of our existence- what are we called to accomplish in the world?
From the book of Isaiah, our first reading, God is saying to us just as He said to the Israelite “You are my servant (Israelite) in whom I will be glorified” (Is. 49:3). We are created by God to bring honour to Him among all men. We might easily come to the awareness of being created by God, but realizing and fulfilling the purpose of our existence might take a long time, even a life-time
While we might continue to take delight in the fact that we are God’s chosen servants (as Christians), we have to bear in mind the basic truth that, it is not enough for us to be God’s servants (Christians) by name (cf. Is. 49) we have to be “a light to the nations” so that the ends of the world may come to know the salvation of our God.
This is what the image of John the Baptist stands for in the gospel reading. John’s first moment of an insight into his mission in the world came quite unconsciously, in the womb of Elizabeth. At his naming, Zechariah also hinted at his mission when he prophesied “As for you little child, you shall be called the prophet of God, the most high, you shall go ahead of the lord, to prepare His way before him.” (Luke 1:76)
We too like John at various stages of our lives tend to discover what God has created us to fulfil in the universe. But very unlike John, many of us are quick to lose focus of our mission in the world. Moreover, losing focus of our purpose in the world is not the only undoing of many Christians. Many of us are tempted to be more than what we are created to be. We push, fight, nag and get frustrated. John the Baptist recognized his role in showing forth the messiah and he was glad and contented to fulfil just that.
Perhaps many of us do not know what our basic mission into the world is. “… that my (God’s) salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” (Is. 49:6) This is the basic purpose of our existence- to bear witness to Christ as the son of God, the redeemer of the universe, thereby bringing many more others to the knowledge Christ’s salvation.
As God spoke through Isaiah, “It is not enough for you to be my servant, to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back the survivors of Israel: I will make you the light of the nations so that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” Thus our mission must go beyond the Church to that of the world.
It is within this context that the call to mission by being the light to all nations entails that as Catholics we need to think of ourselves as Catholic (universal) in the real sense of the word. We cannot think in an individualistic manner. Unfortunately, some of us are more concerned with doing our own will and our own ministry than that of the Church of Christ. We are too preoccupied with promoting the interests of our organization, parish or projects rather than asking whether what we are doing is in line with the mission of the universal Church. We must work together as Church for the mission entrusted to us. As Christians, we must undertake the mission of proclaiming the kingdom of God, teaching God’s will, healing the sick and liberating those who are possessed. But this mission is to be carried out in communion with one another. Saint Paul understood this so much. Although Jewish, he received baptism. Like other Israel’s prophets he said to God, “Here I am Lord I come to do your will,” I come to bear the light to all nations! Paul carried the mission and the Good News not only to the Corinthian Church, but to the Gentiles, to all of us.
Paul said, to everyone who called upon the name of Jesus, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (1Cor 1:1-3).
God shall be glorified in you this week in Jesus name. Amen!
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