Homily for Tuesday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time Year A
Theme: The glory of the Lord appears to the just that follows God’s law.
By: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf.
Homily for Tuesday July 30 2019
READINGS: Exodus 33: 7-11; 34: 5-9.28, Ps. 103, Matthew 13: 36-43
When someone is said to be a just man it signifies that the person is righteous and blameless in the sight of God. In our context today we can call such a person a holy one. The just man means that he lives by justice and that means that he does what is right and does not go contrary to the order of things and the way things are supposed to be according to the decrees of the Lord. This is such a man who has the privilege of beholding the glory of God. In the Old Testament, Moses is seen as one of the righteous people of God and if not the most righteous and just. He was the one who was given the privilege of seeing God face to face (whatever that would mean and the image he saw). The scripture speaks of his special privilege of walking with God in the garden (whatever it means to see God walking).
In those days since the temple has not been built God was seen living in the tent as the Ark of the Covenant dwelt in the tent. This is the situation that made David feel ashamed that the Lord lives in a tent while he lives in a house built with the cedar. The people of Israel of Moses times saw the Lord living in the tent and they went there to meet him and so it was called the tent of meeting. From the biblical narrative, the people of Israel also went to meet the Lord in the tent but none was said to have gone there and seen the glory of God like Moses. Each time he goes there, the Lord greeted him with the appearance of the clouds announcing his presence. This was why whenever Moses finishes seeing the Lord his face shown bright like the fuller’s alkaline. The people of Israel could not look at his face and asked that he covers it. So when he goes to address the people he goes with covered or veiled faces. The people saw in Moses the glory of God radiant. This happens only to Moses because God saw him as a just man who does his will.
Beloved, in the New Testament we saw the same thing repeating when at the scene of transfiguration, Jesus appeared in his glory and the place was dazzling. This happened at the meeting of God with two righteous personalities of the Old Testament- Moses and Elijah. The mountain was raised with smoke and earthquake and the three apostles who witnessed it testified. Beloved, we do not go to God with any how personality especially the type that speaks contrary to his holy image and being. Sin makes us not to see God clearly but veils our faces and we would not witness his glory. Today the Blessed Sacrament Adoration chapel is our tent of meeting and each time we go there because of our unrighteousness and sinful lives, we do not behold his glory or feel his presence. But the few privileged ones who strive after holiness see his glory each time they are in his presence and in the presence of the consecration (trans-substantiation of bread and wine) at the Holy Mass.
Beloved, it is the devil that plants the bad seed of sin in us that makes us not to produce the fruits of the Holy Spirit and of holiness. God from creation planted the seed of holiness in us but as we mingle with the world and get infested with sin, the devil plants his own seed of disobedience in us and we would become unwanted in the field of God. God gives us time and patiently nurtures us with grace that we may change and produce necessary fruits but when we become recalcitrant and disobedient, we make ourselves the unwanted weed that would face destruction and so gnashing of teeth becomes our portion on the last day of harvest.
We pray that the richness of God’s mercy and slowness in anger will not make us take God for granted and delay till the dangerous moment when it becomes impossible to remedy our situation. May we utilize the graces we received to do the will of God and produce abundant fruits. We pray that we may be privileged to witness the glory of God here and in the world to come, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf.