Homily for Tuesday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time Year A
Theme: Don’t Get Caught in the Middle of the Sea
By: Fr. Evaristus Abu
Homily for Tuesday July 23 2019
Exodus 14:21-15:1, Exodus 15 and Matthew 12:46-50
“Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.” So Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its wonted flow when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled into it, and the LORD routed the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen and all the host of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not so much as one of them remained (Exodus 14:26-28).
Dear friends, rather than ask Pharaoh why he refused to let go of the Israelites, I need to ask myself why I often refuse to let go of the past hurts and faults of others. And rather than feel sorry for Pharaoh and his cohorts for drowning in the sea, I better warn myself that continuous pursuit of my so-called enemies for vengeance could only lead to drowning in the middle of the sea.
Yes, the Egyptians felt offended. Moses tricked Pharaoh saying they were only going to offer sacrifice to God in the desert, but days went by and they were nowhere to be found. But was there any need going after them?
Like Pharaoh, we all have been cheated, deceived, insulted by at least one person in our lifetime. But unlike Pharaoh, we cannot afford to spend the rest of our lives pursuing people. We must let go and move on regardless of what others have done or will still do to us.
Unforgiveness is deadly! Every act of revenge always backfires. Pharaoh and his cohorts got drowned in the sea. There is a story of a woman who poisoned her five children mistakenly all in a bid to revenge her neighbour simply for insulting her.
In the Gospel passage, Jesus was preaching when He was told His mother and relatives wanted to see Him. He deliberately decides not to give them any preferential treatment. He would not stop what He was doing to attend to them instead He turns to the crowd and says: “whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother.”
One way we do the will of God is forgiving and letting go. In Pidgin English, we say: “Pickin must resemble him papa.” We resemble God only to the extent that we are people of mercy. One who cannot forgive does not know God.
After twenty-seven solid years behind bars, Nelson Mandela said: When I was about to walk out of the prison into a life of freedom, I knew that if I refuse to forgive those who hurt me, I would still be in chains.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, save me from fear, Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Tuesday of the 16th week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Exodus 14:21-15:1, Exodus 15 and Matthew 12:46-50).