Homily for Thursday of the 1st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle I
Theme: An encounter with God
By: Fr Francis Onwunali
Homily for Thursday January 14 2020
At the heart of God’s love and interaction with us is mercy and compassion; God’s willingness to transform our situation through an encounter. The desert element in today’s readings is a pointer to a place or situation of encounter. Though such an experience could be grilling, torturous and draining, it is always transformative when we focus on God even in the darkest moment.
In the first reading (Heb 3: 7-14), the Jewish Christians are reminded that they have gone through a desert experience. They have left their live of slavery (sin) and are experiencing an Exodus into a place of rest (relationship with God). As they are on this journey through dry and barren areas, they should not lose heart or test God as their ancestors did. The Hebrew Christians and us are being challenged to remain faithful to the life we have begun in Jesus till the end.
In the gospel (Mark 1: 40-45), Jesus, after healing the leper and people were trooping to Him, He moves to a desert or deserted place but still people came looking for Him. Jesus met their misery with compassion and tender kindness.
Dear friends, most of the encounter between God and His Chosen people, Israel, took place in the desert. Jesus had a lot of interaction with the Father in the desert or deserted place. Though desert symbolically signifies a place or time of dryness, emptiness or temptation in ones life, it is equally a time or place of renewal and encounter with God. Do you think you are going through a desert experience in your life? A feeling of emptiness or abandonment?
I pray as we journey in life today, whatever experiences we are having will lead to renewal and refreshment with the realization of God’s presence in our lives. May we never wander around aimlessly but journey with our focus on the joy of encounter with God in His glory.
Have an encounter-full day!
-Fr Francis Onwunali