Homily for Thursday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time Year A
Theme: Not by Power but by Grace
By: Fr. Evaristus Abu
Homily for Thursday October 17 2019
Thursday 17th October 2019. Read Romans 3:21-30, Psalm 130 and Luke 11:47-54.
“Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded. By what law? By that of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law.” (Romans 3:27-28)
Today, St. Paul reminds us that “there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith.” (Romans 3:22-25).
By saying that “all have sinned,” St. Paul is not saying we should glory in our sinfulness. His point of emphasis is that we must avoid boasting, avoid feeling superior to others, avoid looking down on people. “Are we any better off?” St. Paul asks, “No, not at all; for we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin.” (Romans 3:9).
If I am able to keep God’s commandments or overcome temptations, I must learn to Give Thanks to God because left to my own power, I can do nothing. As Jesus would say: “I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit because apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5). All these boils down to the fact that we must avoid passing judgement on others while boasting about our own goodness.
Nevertheless, it is a different thing altogether when we correct others in love. This is what we see in today’s Gospel passage where Jesus continues His litany of woes. Jesus is not simply reigning insults on the Pharisees and lawyers, He is pointing out their errors one after the other. Note that Jesus is telling them these things to their face. Correcting others requires courage. If you cannot tell someone her/his errors to her/his face, then avoid passing judgement behind her/his back. This is very wrong!
Secondly, in mentioning the specific details of their errors, it shows that Jesus knew exactly what He is saying. Be sure you know the whole truth and have done proper investigation before you try to correct so that when you speak, your words would be irrefutable. Don’t go correcting anyone on the basis of mere rumour(s) you have heard, otherwise, you who wants to correct would end up being the one at the receiving end of harsher corrections.
Luke tells us that “the Pharisees began to press him hard and to provoke him to speak of many things, lying in wait for him, to catch at something he might say.” Needless to say, the Pharisees were disappointed because they found absolutely nothing to use against Jesus. The point here is that human nature has not changed. People do not like to be corrected. Rather than listening, they find ways to attack the person who corrects them. The best correction they say is “doing the right thing which you desire to see others do.”
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, fill me with your Grace every day. Amen. May the Bishop and Martyr, St. Ignatius of Antioch, whose memorial we celebrate today pray and intercede for us. Amen. May the example of his life inspire us to walk in righteousness and lay down our lives for the Gospel if God so deems fit. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Thursday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Romans 3:21-30, Psalm 130 and Luke 11:47-54).