Homily for Thursday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time Year A
Theme: It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah than for you on Judgment Day.
By: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
Homily for Thursday July 11 2019
READINGS: Genesis 44: 18-21.23-29.45: 1-5, Ps. 105, Matthew 10: 7-15
The statement of Jesus that was categorical about the people of the Jews of his time depicted a people who lived despicable and regrettable life and whose life should evoke greater punishment than the hash one meted on Sodom and Gomorrah. Sodom and Gomorrah was visited with great anger of God for their sins and which led to their destruction. The fate of Sodom and Gomorrah is such that is referred to in the Bible as a very bad one but here Jesus says that theirs would be tolerable than the one that the Israel of his time would receive. What sin did they really commit that prompted Jesus to unleash such condemnation on them?
Beloved, any evil act of man that offends charity and love of God and neighbour meets with the anger of God. While we do so we may be thinking that we are right and clever and that nothing would happen. Most often we forget or deceive ourselves as if there is no day when human acts, thoughts and words would be judged by the just God. The Day of Judgment is real and would certainly come. For some people they start reaping the fruit of their bad life here on earth as some also reap the good fruit of their faithful love service to God and humanity here on earth. Some who escape it here and find life pleasurable and good would certainly not escape it in the world to come. Our life on earth has limit and surely would end one day and its end leads to judgment that is inescapable from the just God who would repay each man in justice according to his deeds. It is said that it is not when a tree is cut that it withers but takes time as if the leaves are ok with the cutting. They surely have little time or pretentious goody but the withering and shading would certainly befall them and the eventual drying. Life would be cut off from its source and death would be the reward.
In the first reading, the children of Jacob plotted evil against their own blood brother and God allowed them to complete their evil plans. God can be patient with us in our wicked ways and give us time to repent but that does not mean he has no time to attend to our wicked ways. Their evil ways led their father to untold pain and sorrowful ageing. They felt they had succeeded in covering up their evil deeds against love and charity and felt no remorse; they never knew that they would one day face their evil and be unable to withstand its consequences and shame. Joseph whom they treated badly gave them a condition that would expose their evil and that was impossible to fulfil. What they have hidden for years is today challenging their present. At last, their evil ways were made known to them by Joseph who they offended. Sometime you might face the situation when your evil would recoil upon your head and keep you speechless and shameful. How would you face the innocent one that you have ill-treated when all your hopes of survival and needs are to be provided by the same person you have treated wickedly? He may forgive you but would you forgive yourself?
Beloved, Jesus has commissioned us here on earth to go and preach the good news and teach people what is good and live in love and peace with them. He never told us to do otherwise. When we do what he has commanded us we shall be equipped with divine powers to do miraculous deeds in his name and win souls. We are to depend solely on God for providence of all our needs and avoid carrying baggage and heavy worldly burdens but travel light with faith and trust in the vehicle of love and peace. We are to give this peace to all we meet in this world not to put them through untold hardship like the brothers of Joseph. We should avoid acts that would symbolize the shaking off of the apostles’ feet against us which would be a testimony on the last day against us. We must be careful of acts in this world that would make the judgment and punishment of God upon us to be more intolerable than the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Day of Judgment is real and shall suddenly come upon us.
We pray that God would give us the spirit of true love for our brothers and sisters and give us living consciences that would lead us to right judgment and right acts. Let the spirit of the Lord guide our acts so as not to make ourselves susceptible to divine anger. May the prayers of St Benedict who was an Abbot and who gave the Church a spiritual heritage and inspired the Church by his holy life and virtues support us so as never to reject the word of God and his ministers and never to receive any curse, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf