Homily for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
Theme: For those who fear my name the sun of righteousness shall rise upon them.
By: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
Homily for Sunday November 17 2019
READINGS: Malachi 4: 1-2, Ps. 98, 2 Thess. 3: 7-12, Luke 21: 5-19
As the year of the Church gradually comes to an end, this week the Church through the readings try to remind us of the end time and the reward of righteousness for those who keep faith with Christ Jesus and the punishment for those who revolted against the faith they were thought. The first reading reminds us of the truth of the second coming of Christ.
It makes us understand that it will be a day of judgment which will look into the activities of the evildoers and the righteous. The evildoers are those who did not keep to the commandment of God and the precepts of Christ but lived contrary to it and in praise of the evil one the devil (Satan). The righteous are those who suffered by keeping to the dictates of the scripture and the right teachings laid down by the Apostles. They lived disciplined life and controlled their feelings and behaviour in accord to the right dictates of conscience and biblical injunction.
Beloved, Prophet Malachi was emphatic that the righteous who he described as those who fear the name of the Lord shall have the sun of righteousness shine upon them with healing in its wings. The sun is the bright light of God which refers to the light of Christ who is the righteous judge. In effect it means that the light that comes from Christ shall bless them as reward for good deeds. He speaks about the fate of the arrogant and evildoers who will face the burning fire as hot as an oven and be abandoned as useless riffraff. This is what he described as stubble. They shall suffer and be of no use to God. He will make their history not to be remembered but annihilated from existence.
Beloved, it calls for working conscientiously and actively without stopping till the good result is achieved. We must work out our salvation in fear and trembling while we live. The kingdom of God does not admit of any laziness because the kingdom of God is not for lazy people. Jesus had a human father Joseph who worked hard to earn his living. He had the heavenly Father who out of seven days worked for six days without rest and found all his works to be very good. This same Father does not rest in working for the affairs of the world if not; the world would go into extinction. If God is to leave the world for a second, the world would have a disastrous end. This is why Jesus said that his Father goes on working and so he does the same. It is in this vein that St Paul spoke in imagery as if talking about only physical labour in the first reading. Anyone who refuses to work is not supposed to eat meaning that if we do not work for our salvation we cannot enjoy the heavenly banquet. We should not expect to be allowed to enjoy the fruit of hard labour of others. It would be like the fate of the foolish virgins who could not be provided for by the efforts of the other five wise virgins.
Beloved, the gospel spoke directly about the destructive nature of that day using the destruction of the temple as image. The way that the stones of the temple would be crushed with none standing on the other so shall the sinners be destroyed with no one of them supporting the other. The uncertainty of this day is also spoken about because he said it would not be by the signs we are looking for or the speech of people purporting the end of time. Even Jesus said he does not know the time. For the righteous, God would direct them on what to say and do on that day. Even though a lot of strange things would happen as listed yet the end cannot be ascertained by that. It will surely come like the thief.
We pray that the Lord would make us steadfast and grant us the spirit to endure many things while we live here on earth so that we may win our own lives on that day. When the Lord comes to rule the people in fairness may his mercy and compassion save us, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf