Homily for the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
Theme: God of the living
By: Fr. Cyril Unachukwu CCE
Homily for Sunday November 10 2019
Every gift from above attracts and builds. Against this divinely inspired attraction that builds, the devil comes to deceive and to destroy. Whereas this attraction opens up our minds to the world beyond and builds us up onto it, the deceptions of the devil keep our focus on things that are transitory and destroy the ultimate purpose of our life which is to return to God our Creator. As we continue our journey of life, may we never waver in the face of these deceptive and destructive distractions as to win eternal rewards; Amen.
The main purpose of the devil is to convince us that there is no life beyond this earthly life; that everything ends here and at such, no eternal rewards. But God our Creator, creating out of nothing, wouldn’t have created us for nothing. God created us to know Him, to love Him, to serve Him and to live with Him in eternity. Truly, “of all visible creatures only man is able to know and love his Creator. He is the only creature on earth that God has willed for its own sake, and he alone is called to share, by knowledge and love, in God’s own life. It was for this end that he was created, and this is the fundamental reason for his dignity” (CCC, n. 356). The seven brothers with their mother in the First Reading of today (2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14) understood this meaning and purpose of human life. This knowledge, of the purpose and end of their lives, entirely changed the perspective of these brothers and their mother about suffering and affirmed and sustained their choice in the face of persecution. Ignorance of why we were created by God is a central factor on why we are gullible to the antics of the devil. Presuming we are ignorant of this fact, the devil comes in different ways to seduce us out of the track that leads to Eternal Life. We confirm or contradict him by the choices we make. For these brothers and their mother, it came through the King who tried to force them to break their relationship with God and to abandon their faith by eating what the law forbids. They stood their ground, quite sure about the purpose of their existence and aware of the antics of the Evil One. One of the brothers declared, “ours is the better choice, to meet death at men’s hands, yet relying on God’s promise that we shall be raised up by Him.” The choice to live as God wants us to live!
Manifesting itself in another guise is the case of the Sadducees in the Gospel Reading (Luke 20:27-38) who believe that there is no resurrection, we encounter another scenario in which by way of a dangerous profession of wrong believe or ideology, the devil comes to contradict the truth; to deceive and to destroy. To deny the resurrection of the dead is to put an end to all of our faith and hope. In the teaching of the Sadducees, we see the subtle foundation for subsequent theories and teachings that would want us believe that there is nothing after the physical. In our times, these theories and teachings have taken new forms and renewed force, suggesting to us that what is meaningful is only what is visible and sensual. If there is nothing after the physical, it then means that only what is physically sensible exists, and subsequently the force and push of the sensual is to be obeyed. What other logic could explain the massive confusion in the world and the palpable dissonance between the voice of the Gospel and the noisy voice that the world wants us to listen to? In contrast, Jesus reminds us that Life itself is immortal and that there is only a transition from earthly life to the non-temporal life; not extinction or termination of life for “life is changed and not ended”; because “He is God, not of the dead, but of the living; for to Him all men are in fact alive.” The logic of the absolute temporality of life is irrational, _sine fundamentum in re – without foundation in realty_ , and inspired by fear of responsibility and accountability. The responsibility we must show for the love God has bestowed on us and for the many graces we have received from Him (2 Thess 2:16-3:5). The accountability that surely awaits us at the end of time on how we managed these gifts from above. We can only but be sure that despite all odds, “the Lord is faithful, and He will us strength and guard us from the evil one, and we in the Lord, have every confidence that we are doing and will go on doing all that we have learnt.” This is the secret to a happy and joyful and blissful end in eternity.
In the face of falsehood, trials and persecutions, may our knowledge of the eternal promises of God constantly inspire and strengthen us to cooperate with the grace of God in our lives and to stand firm in faith, hope and charity to the very end; Amen. Happy Sunday; Fr Cyril CCE