HOMILY FOR THURSDAY OF THE 29TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE I
THEME: Do we suppose that Jesus is here to bring peace on earth? No, but rather division.
BY: Fr. Deotacious Chikontwe SMA
*READINGS OF THE DAY*
It is strange to hear Jesus say in today’s gospel reading that he did not come to bring peace but rather division. However, the gospel as a whole suggests that we have to understand Jesus to mean that he did not come with the explicit intention of causing division but, rather, that division was the consequence of his coming.
*ABOUT THE FIRST READING*
Dear brethrens, from the first reading of today, St Paul is saying that, for the wage paid by sin is death; the present given by God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
*EXPLANATION OF THE TEXT IN SIMPLE TERMS*
Dear Friends in Christ, When St. Paul says the wages of sin is death, he does not mean we would drop down and die at every sin we commit. However, the fact remains that with each sin I commit, something very precious dies inside me; the death of my ability to resist that same sin, the death of my conscience and the death of my will to do right. The more I sin, the less my chances of living above sin and brings about my eternal damnation.
*ABOUT THE GOSPEL READING OF TODAY*
In the Gospel reading given to us today, Jesus says that he had not come to bring peace on earth but rather division.
*EXPLANATION OF THE GOSPEL READING IN SIMPLE TERMS*
Dear brothers and sisters, the simple interpretation of this passage is that as long as you stand for God, you must not make everybody your friend. You dare not force friendship with the whole world because not everyone will share your views or your passion for holiness.
You must select your friends and be sure that they too have a strong desire as much as you do to get to heaven. Whether you like it or not, you must have “enemies” – people who cannot just come close to you because of your closeness to God.
This is the division that Jesus was talking about. It is a necessary division; a division that helps us prioritize God over and above family ties, religious affiliation and tribal sentiments.
If I really understand the gravity of sin, how it brings about death only, then I must be willing to let go of the whole world and even my close family members if that is what it would take to avoid sin.
*Let us pray*
My dear Lord Jesus Christ, help me serve you over above anything else. You who live and reign with One God forever and ever.
THE LORD BE WITH YOU!
Fr. Deotacious Chikontwe SMA