Homily for Tuesday of the 25th Week in Ordinary Time Year A
Theme: Those who belong to God are those who hear his word and keep it.
By: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
Homily for Tuesday September 24 2019
READING: Ezra 6: 7-8.12.14-20, Ps. 122, Luke 8: 19-21
To make somebody happy in a relationship is to have a listening ear and to keep to the person’s life pattern, likes and dislikes; it also demands keeping the warnings and rules he gave. This means obedience and seeking for peace and harmony. In this behaviour the relationship shall be enjoyable and lasting without regrets. Obedience is said to be the first law in heaven and according to Samuel is better than sacrifice. This is advised to be maintained in any human relationship and more so in divine relationship since whatever he commands are supremely good for humans and done out of love for them. In humans, people do it to benefit them and for selfish purposes but for God it is sacrificial for the good of man. Whatever God tells us to do may run contrary to our mind’s desire and will and may look difficult because of our heart’s inclination to sin and things that are simple and easy.
Beloved, in the gospel today we see Jesus making such statements that seem derogatory to his parents and family (Mary and Joseph and brethrens). For those who do not understand the point of departure of Jesus and where he is driving to, they say that he disregarded them and showed that they are not important in his ministry and so may have done their part and no more needed since they are distractions and obstacles to the fulfilment of his ministry and the will of God for him. Jesus said: My mother and my brethren are those who hear the word of God and do it (keep it). Critically and analytically following the life of Mary the mother and Joseph and even the brethren, one would truthfully exonerate them from disobedient ones. Joseph was a just man who heard the revelation of God (word of God) many times to him and kept all without argument but with total submission. He was told to take Mary home as his wife when he discovered she was pregnant not for him but of the Holy Spirit. He immediately surrendered to obedience of the word. He was woken up in a dream and told to take Mary and the child to Egypt for safety, he immediately hastened in obedience. He never like Mary stopped Jesus from his public ministry but took him to the house of God with Mary for dedication and for census. Mary heard the message of annunciation and said “fiat” Let what you have said be done. She accepted her mission as the Mother of God. She went to Elizabeth to serve after hearing the angel’s message. She like Joseph was first disciples of Jesus who nowhere in the scriptures disobeyed or argued with Jesus. She was not angry at Jesus when he said he must be in his Father’s house; the prophecy of Simeon about the sorrows of Mary at dedication was happily in meditation accepted. She never objected to the passion and death of Christ but followed with faith and acceptance of God’s will.
Beloved, that statement of Jesus was rather a praise of Mary and the brethren that if people wanted to belong to his household and be loved like his Mother and brethren, like them, they should keep the word of God. In the first reading, there was a call from God’s message for all people to come and join hands in the rebuilding of the house of God in Jerusalem. The kings then Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes led the people in obedient to God’s command to rebuild. They encouraged the people to do so. This is what a king is supposed to do and be. He is supposed to lead the people in obeying God and encourage them to do whatever he tells them. At the completion of the temple they joyfully made offerings to thank the Lord and to show the joy of their heart in keeping to the words of the Lord. If any of us wants a commendation from God and inclusion in the household of God, he or she has to keep his words and help others to do same. Woe to anybody Jesus said, who makes any of these little ones to disobey any of the commandments of God; it would be better he is not born.
We pray that God would make us not just listeners of his word but doers who find joy in keeping the commands of the Lord. May the Lord wake us up daily with a listening ear and an obedient heart that strives to keep whatever he commands, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf