Homily for Tuesday of the 4th Week in Ordinary Time Year II
Theme: What is your attitude towards another’s (enemy’s) misfortune?
By: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
Homily for Tuesday February 4 2020
READINGS: 2 Samuel 18: 9-10. 14. 24-24. 30-19:3, Ps. 86, Mark 5: 21-43
No human being prays to have misfortune or wishes himself and loved ones any. It is not a palatable situation to any and it is important to ask ourselves how we feel when another is having a misfortune especially when the person is an enemy or makes himself so. At times we hear Christians and some other people say to another person that this is the beginning of their woes and troubles. At times too people wish others bad by pronouncing curses on them for misfortune. Some people say negative words on others and call it prayer even as Christians use: Holy Ghost fire burn you on their fellow human beings simply because they see them as enemies and not close associates and family members. There are those who claim to be Christians and even humans who laugh and chat happily over the misfortune of others and purported enemies and haters. Many a Christian leaves their homes to strange and evil places to make charms and amulets to harm others. People use evil forces to destroy people’s fortune and destiny so that life would be unbearable for others and worst still to cause their death; these count themselves human and at times Christians. It becomes easy for many people to repay evil with evil as if they have not heard Jesus’ instruction: Do good to those who hate you, pray for your enemies and do not curse them. It is difficult to use the parameters of Jesus to weigh many of us who claim to be his followers by the attitudes we put up and defend it in all consciences. The readings of today throw challenges on our faith.
Beloved, can you put yourself in the situation of David who lived to see his own son join forces with enemies to eliminate him from the throne and to kill him? Think of the same David who was sought for by Saul whom he did no evil to. He got opportunity to destroy him and end his woes but resisted it and left it for God. This same David saw his life under threat and his son very much determined to kill him after declaring himself a true enemy.
In the instinct of self defence, David would have killed him to save his own life and call him an unjust oppressor/aggressor. It would have been so better and innocent of him that death killed his enemy Absalom so that he would live in freedom and enjoy his life. Evil followed Absalom and he hung naturally to death and was helped by the Cushite to die faster. This should have been good news to celebrate as expected by the Cushite who brought the news. Certainly for many of us it should have been so as we shall say: He who comes to kill me shall kill himself (Obiara egbum, gbuo onwe ya). This is what we call life as Christians and children of God yet our conscience supports it and judges it right. See the true child of God who lived a Christian life though not one; what of us baptised and claimers of such title?
See our attitude displayed in the Cushite: May the enemies of my Lord the King, and all who rise up against you for evil, be like that young man. David thought us a great lesson by his response: And the king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept; and he wept, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom would I have died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son” Can you feel bad over the misfortune of your enemy and cry for him? Can you wish yourself dead in place of your enemy? This is the Rubicon that one shall cross and move over to the blessed of God’s people. How many can cross this spiritual hurdle and make a difference?
Beloved, let us see how Jesus behaved in the misfortune and evil plight of the people. The man Jairus was a worker of the Synagogue. He belongs to those group of the High priests who hated Jesus and from there plotted his downfall. Despite this, he was in need and fell into misfortune and ran to Jesus for help. Jesus like David moved with charity and love and brought healing to the daughter with the powerful pronouncement: Talithakumi. Jesus was also moved with pity on the woman with flow of blood and allowed the power of healing to flow on her thereby removing her misfortune saying: Daughter your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your disease.
Beloved we pray that the charitable and loving heart of David and Jesus would be found in us to ameliorate the pains of others in misfortune and feel for them in their sorrows. And may the Lord turn his ear to us answer us in moments of our misfortune and that good people would help us out of our troubles; may the Lord save us his servants who trust in him, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf