Homily for Tuesday of the 23rd Week in Ordinary Time Year A
Theme: The Power of Consultation
By: Fr. Evaristus Abu
Homily for Tuesday September 10 2019
(Read Colossians 2:6-15, Psalm 145 and Luke 6:12-19)
In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve (Luke 6:12-13).
When last did you make a very important decision? Are you about to decide on something right now? Do you have a myriad of choices before you such that you are quite confused? Jesus teaches us a very important lesson in our Gospel passage today; CONSULTATION.
Consultation is good because it prevents us from acting based on emotions. If you do things just because you feel like doing them, you may end up regretting later. By consulting, you take advantage of the saying that: “two heads are better than one.” By consulting you see things from a broader perspective. For instance, one who is not playing the game of chess sees better opportunities and chances than the player who is already tensed and stressed out from thinking. The only difference is that in chess, consulting is an offence, but in life consulting is wisdom.
Even in our traditional setting, there is an adage that emphasises the need for consultation. It says: “What an elder sees sitting down, a young person can never see even if he climbs the top of an iroko tree.” We would be taking a gamble in life when we act based on our personal whims (emotions) without first consulting.
However, as much as consultation is important, WHO we consult is highly important. Definitely, it will be foolish to consult just anyone and it will be totally against our Christian faith to consult native doctors, witches or traditional oracles.
Jesus was about to take a very important decision; one that would not only determine the nature and outcome of his salvific ministry, but one that would eventually shape world history. At this time, Jesus already had so many disciples (followers), men, women, children, fans and even enemies who followed to find faults.
At this time, Jesus was aware of the plans of the Scribes and Pharisees and He knew that His time was fast running out. So, there was need for Jesus to officially appoint from among the crowd some persons whom He would elevate to the office of apostles. Would He choose only men or would women be included? If there would be women, what would be the ratio?
What kind of people would be able to function as key figures in the church Jesus was about to establish? How many would be needed and set apart from the multitudes following Him? What kind of persons would afford to abandon everything else in life, live with Him, learn from Him and eventually continue His ministry after His departure? These were the questions running through the mind of Jesus. What did He do?
Luke tells us that Jesus spent an entire night in prayer. Jesus consulted with God all night long. It was only after this consultation that Jesus made His selection; first, He chose twelve persons – a number symbolic of the twelve tribes of Israel; secondly, all twelve persons were men; thirdly, none of these men was perfect – each of them had character flaws here and there, some will still not believe after many miracles, one would deny Him and one would eventually betray Him.
Dear friends, the greatest and best consultation is that which we do on our knees. *Prayer is the best consultation so long as we actually make an effort to listen to God in prayer*. Prayer is not a monologue, we do not simply talk to God, we also listen to God.
Do you notice that by every human standard, none of these persons would have qualified for such a task? Perhaps, many of us would have preferred to choose based on tribal affiliations, political correctness, financial or educational status and so on. I guess many would have considered choosing women as well. After all, the saying is very true that “what a man can do, a woman can do better.”
For Jesus to have chosen these very persons after an all-night of consultation shows that God’s ways are not our ways. In truth, even the “foolishness” of God is wiser than the highest human wisdom. As the book of Wisdom reminded us in our first reading of Sunday, “the reasoning of mortals is worthless and our designs are likely to fail” (Wisdom 9:13).
St. Paul continues in this same light in our first reading of today when he noted: “See to it that no one makes a prey of you by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe (such as horoscopes, palm reading, future telling etc.) and not according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8). In other words, St. Paul is saying that even if we consult people, we must be sure that whatever they tell us is according to the mind of Christ. Again, this simply proves us that prayer is the best consultation.
Let us pray: Let Jesus, help me to always make the right decisions, Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Tuesday of the 23rd week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Colossians 2:6-15, Psalm 145 and Luke 6:12-19).