Homily for the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Theme: Being Paradoxical Heroes!
By: Fr. Justine J. Dyikuk
Homily for Sunday February 23 2020
Readings: Lev. 19:1-2, 17-18; Responsorial Psalm Ps 103:1-2, 3-4, 8, 10, 12-13; 1st Cor. 3:16-23 & Gospel Mt 5:38-48.
Friends in Christ, in our society today, instead of entrenching the New World Order (NWO) of love inaugurated by Christ, some Christians have joined ranks with forces of evil in the world to propose a conspiracy theory of a secularist NWO which defers in intent and content with what Jesus offers us in the gospel. The current worldly NWO is the emergence of a totalitarian world government pioneered by a powerful elite which is secretive pushing a globalist agenda of eventually ruling the world. What is even more worrisome is that those behind it are a cabal which orchestrates important political and financial conspiracy policies in the world.
Their aim is to cause systemic crises at both national and international levels with a ploy to achieving world domination through a secularist agenda of exaggerated feminism, celebration of man’s passions, unwarranted support for gay rights, recruitment of others as illuminati, targeted persecution of Christians and their values as well as the destruction of man’s body and soul. It is in the midst of these that Jesus calls us to be paradoxical heroes who would upturn the values of the world by going the extra mile to establish the NWO of love.
Background and Summary of the Readings
In our first reading (Lev. 19:1-2, 17-18), the Lord instructs Moses to relate to the people of Israel his message of love, anchored on holiness. He notes that this call to holiness has the appeal of loving kindness which eschews hatred for one’s brother or sister from the heart. The Lord goes ahead to prescribe fraternal correction, taking revenge, holding grudge against anyone and loving a neighbour as one’s self as prerequisite for holiness.
In the second reading (1st Cor. 3:16-23), St. Paul insists that we are God’s temple and his Holy Spirit lives amongst us. He also discloses that God would destroy anyone who destroys his temple (us) because we are sacred. The text charges the faithful to first of all try their best in preserving the body while allowing the owner (God) to do the rest.
Jesus reinforces the message of the first reading in the gospel (Mt. 5:38-48) wherein he upturns the thinking of society. In an unparalleled way, he entrenches a New World Order (NWO) which goes against the normal Eye for an eye, tooth for tooth. He insists that we should offer no resistance to the one who is evil, turn the other check to one who strikes us, offer our cloak to anyone who intends to go to law with us over our tunic, go two miles with a person who invites us for one, give to those who ask and never turn our backs on those who intend to borrow.
Pastoral and Practical Lessons
1. Do Not Hate: In a society where there is escalation in the formation of political, economic, cultural and intellectual jihad through strategic and systemic government policies against Christians, the first reading urges us to bear no hatred against our brothers and sisters but openly tell them their offense noting that this way, we will not take a sin upon ourselves.
2. Exact No Vengeance: In a world where Open Doors reported in 2019 that Christians are the most persecuted religious groups in the world who are oppressed in at least 60 countries, our liturgy reminds us that vengeance is the Lord’s.
3. Bear No Grudge: Our liturgy calls us to emulate God who lets his sun to shine on both the good and the bad by bearing with the wicked until the end of time when God would reward good and punish evil.
4. Love Others: In a society where people love only those who love them and hate their enemies, our liturgy encourages us to love our enemies and do good to those who hate us.
5. Protect God’s Temple:: Since our body is God’s temple as St. Paul tells us in the second reading (1st Cor. 3:16-23), we must not recourse to the simplistic way of turning the other check in the face of death because the love of oneself is a fundamental principle of morality which makes it legitimate for the Christian to resist the wilful killing of others (CCC, Nos. 2261-2262) while insisting on the preservation of one’s life (CCC, No. 2264).
6. Offer No Resistance: In a world where there is increasing formation of Jihadist Muslim Militias in Christian dominated countries like Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic which are initiating deadly attacks against Christians, our liturgy urges us to offer no resistance to the one who is evil because when we do, God will remove his hand from the affair and we would suffer for it.
7. Turn the Other Check: By inviting us to turn the other check, Jesus is teaching us that there is victory in defeat and that light will prevail other darkness even as good triumphs over evil – evil will never have the last say.
8. Offer Your Cloak and Tunic: By charging us to offer our cloak to anyone who intends to go to law with us over our tunic, Jesus invites the Christian to make a remarkable difference in society by being unique, doing something extraordinary through sacrificial love which he exemplified on Calvary.
9. Go the Extra Mile: The instruction “go two miles with a person who invites you for one” challenges us to always be ready to be “the salt of the earth and light of the world” through becoming shining examples to the world.
10. Give to Those Who Ask: The mandate “Give to those who ask and never turn our backs on those who intend to borrow” calls the Christian to always dispose him or herself to making sacrifices towards the vulnerable for the good of society.
Homiletic Quotes to Remember
1. In our first reading (Lev. 19:1-2, 17-18), the Lord instructs Moses to relate to the people of Israel his message of love, anchored on holiness.
2. In the second reading (1st Cor. 3:16-23), St. Paul insists that we are God’s temple and his Holy Spirit lives amongst us.
3. Jesus reinforces the message of the first reading in the gospel (Mt. 5:38-48) wherein he upturns the thinking of society.
4. In an unparalleled way, he entrenches a New World Order (NWO) which goes against the normal Eye for an eye, tooth for tooth.
5. He insists that we should offer no resistance to the one who is evil.
In conclusion, amidst these western secularist power brokers who are bent on bringing the world to its knees through the modern NWO which contradicts what our paradoxical hero proposes, we are called to be perfect (holy) by loving those who hate us and standing up for our faith even as we pray for those who persecute us. Since it is clear that the secular NWO has the agenda of destroying man’s body and soul, the treatment of Christians as targeted species for elimination must be met with resistance and legitimate self defence.
In the second reading (1st Cor. 3:16-23), St. Paul reassures that God would destroy anyone who destroys his temple. Since we are that temple, we ought to try our best in preserving God’s temple while allowing him to do the rest. May the Holy help us in establishing Jesus’ NWO through entrenching a civilisation of love by being paradoxical heroes. Amen. Have a fabulous Lenten Period come Ash Wednesday, next week!
– Shikrot Mpwi – Sunday Synopsis with Fr. Justine J. Dyikuk