Homily for Thursday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle II
Theme: Obstinacy leads to untold hardship and regrettable situation.
By: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
Homily for Thursday June 25 2020
READINGS: 2 Kings 24: 8-17, Ps. 79, Matthew 7: 21-29
In everything humans are doing with the other and especially with the higher person there should be obedience to the order of doing things. In every exercise with an organized entity, corporate bodies and associations, there must be an acceptable and approved way of doing things. In our dealings with God, we also have the laws and commandments given us to follow so that everything would go on smoothly and benefit humanity. Even states and political groups have norms, bye-laws and constitutions and they are made for the right order of things and failure to follow them breed bad blood and breaches good relationship.
In every good relationship, respect for the dos and don’ts of the other is very important. Sacrifice and offering devoid of obedience is a mockery and not accepted and that is why God said to Saul: Obedience is better than sacrifice. God in his relationship with the people of Israel made a covenant with them which is an agreement of which Israel has a part to play and to respect that covenant but each time Israel would go contrary to the demands of the covenant in disobedience. God has always been patient and giving them chance to return back in love and obedience. He sends Seers and Prophets to warn them but Israel takes God for granted as if God was joking and can do nothing about it. Patience has a limit and a time to end so as to give a reprimand and serve as deterrent to the people. If patience abounds in all circumstances without limit it becomes a weakness and an aid to continuity of crime and sin. Whenever a cup is full it overflows and so Israel’s sinful cup of obstinacy is full and God allowed it to overflow to their dishonour and shame. God allowed the wicked pagan King Nebuchadnezzar to lay siege on Israel and take them to captivity. Jehoiachin king of Judah gave himself up to Nebuchadnezzar and took himself a prisoner and the whole nation also.
Beloved, it was painful for Israel a free nation and special children of God who boasts of how good and powerful their God is and how he has been indefatigable at wars is now under mockery by pagan nation. This is the consequences of obstinacy and refusal to keep the commandments of God. Sin exposes a nation, a people and individual into disgrace, shame and ridicule. It makes someone to be on the defensive and looking for opportunity to explain things to them; such opportunities are rare. It makes those who should not in any way speak to you become your master and commander and then command you about. It makes us lose the most important and valuable things we cherish as we see them become things of joke in the hands of our scorners. All the valuable men and women of respect in Israel were carried into captivity leaving only the ordinary and less important people for them. This is how disobedience to the will of God can impoverish us and make us lose all the good things we have and make us paupers even in the midst of plenty.
Beloved, often times we deceive ourselves thinking we belong to the Lord when we are actually disobedient to his commands. God detests disobedient children and would not move and work with them. This is why Jesus said in the gospel that it is not those who call him Lord, Lord that would enter the kingdom of God but those who truly do his will. God appreciates those who hear his words and keep them and neglects those who disobey his words. The word of God is a pillar and sure foundation for those who hold it in fear. In disobedience, many will work in the house of God and in his name but become the most disappointed person on the last day when God would deny them that he does not know them.
We pray that nothing would make us disobedient to the word of God and that his grace will make us true followers in word and indeed. May we not be among those who will deceive themselves here as Christians only to meet that disappointing statement: I do not know you. May the word of God be the strong foundation of our faith so that no matter the situation we find ourselves, we shall not fall but remain unmoved and solid in faith, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf