Homily for Thursday of the 26th Week in Ordinary Time Year A
Theme: BE CHALLENGED WHEN YOU HEAR GOD’S WORD
By: Rev. Fr. Jacob Aondover ATSU
Homily for Thursday October 3 2019
MEMORIAL OF ST THERESA OF THE CHILD JESUS. VIRGIN AND DOCTOR
READINGS: NEHEMIAH 8:1-4a.5-6.7b-12, PSALM 19, LUKE 10:1-12
Dear friends in Chris, I welcome you to this day which is, “holy to the Lord our God” (Neh. 8:9) even as I invite us to listen to the dictates of the law of the Lord and hearken to it as the Israelites of Nehemiah and Ezra’s time.
Let us sieve the needful lessons from today’s liturgy of the word for our consideration as a nation, a chosen race (Christians) and as individuals. We are called to retrace our steps, going back to the roots, if possible like the Israelites did. Everybody gathered and the priest of God, Ezra reawakened their consciousness as regards the law of God and how far they were from keeping it. Maybe it’s high time we recounted the law of the Lord, who knows whether our consciences would be sparkled then repentance and subsequent re-dedication of our nation and families to God occasioned? When the people listened to Ezra, they were disappointed with themselves and a feeling of sadness and contrition engulfed them until Nehemiah, Ezra and the Levites intervened.
Beloved friends, this is the right attitude to put up whenever our consciences are stirred. When we hear the message of repentance from the messengers of Christ, what’s our reaction like? Do we harden our hearts, stay adamant and advance in our misdeeds? Today we hear how Christ commissioned 72 of his followers and sent them out as lambs among wolves. In our times, the priests and other ministers of God’s word and sacraments are those saddled with the responsibility of furthering God’s message of repentance amongst the nations. What is our reception of the message of Christ and his ministers like? What attitude do we put up when the piercing message of truth is preached? Are we the wolves Christ spoke about? Do we refuse to welcome God’s message and his messengers?
Now listen, sons and daughters of God, we who hear God’s word everyday yet wallow in sin and evil; the kingdom of God has come near and there is no repentance in the grave. Listen, dear children of the most high who wouldn’t turn away from idolatry, sexual misbehaviours and immorality; vice, corruption, occultism and the likes; the kingdom of God is near and may pass us by. We may want to ask ourselves what our plight will be like come the Judgment Day, will Sodom be shown more mercy than us?
“Love is repaid by love alone” was the popular motto of St. Therese of the Child Jesus; a motto she got from the great Carmelite mystic St. John of the Cross. Love of God as a Father, expressed in child-like simplicity and trust, and a deep understanding of the mystery of the Cross were the basic principles of St. Therese’s “Little Way. One of her everyday remark was, “there is just one thing to be done here below: to love Jesus and to save souls for him, so that he may be more loved.”
St. Theresa of the Child Jesus believed that through man’s little way of doing things, he could affect people greatly. Little wonder all through her 24 years on earth, she lived an ordinary way of life, never being conspicuous, not complaining, always smiling at her aggressors and showing a special kind of friendliness to those who were unsympathetic to her. May she intercede for us today and always. Amen.
ST THERESA WOULD WANT US TO FEED AND EDUCATE ONE POOR.