Homily for Wednesday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time Year A
Theme: We have no claim to anything but God qualifies us and makes us sufficient.
By: Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
Homily for Wednesday, June 12 2019
READINGS: 2 Corinthians. 3: 4-11, Ps. 99, Matthew 5: 17-19
There are immutable truths that we must acknowledge and guide our lives with. Man has no power of his own and can actually do little or nothing for himself; to gain sufficiency or qualify ourselves for anything good save what God wills and approves in our lives. This is the truth and the mystery surrounding it that St Paul expounds in the first reading. It is not obedience to the written code that qualifies us; all that we need is the support and gift of the Holy Spirit. The written code which Moses received which the Israelites could not stand, and were terrified, and at last broken; both in their way of life and in actuality of the stone could not secure good relationship and blessing from God. It was the intervention of God in the new commandment or covenant that restored them to being the children of God and God became their Father. It was the dispensation of the Spirit that gave them splendour not the fading splendour of the written code. It is the Spirit that was permanent and it retained the unfading splendour. So what can man boast of? The very breath of man, the health he has, the memory and intellect are all gifts from God who breathed on man the breath of life and man became a living spirit.
Beloved, the fact that the Spirit gives more splendour than the codified law does not mean that the law should be made nonsense of. Any good law of the people or of the land must be respected and kept for the good of man. Jesus came to the world to work according to the spirit of the Law (human face of the law/charity in the law) not by its letters but he was misunderstood as a law breaker. He makes it clear to us in today’s gospel that he has not come to abolish the Law and the prophets but to fulfil them. He emphasized that the law came from his Father and is good and so no one should infringe on it or teach others not to obey it. Whoever does that is not accepted in the kingdom of God among the great.
Beloved in Christ, this is the truth that St Paul brings to our consciousness today so that man would like St Paul boast of nothing but in the cross of Christ. St Paul made it clear that by ourselves alone, we cannot and are not sufficient to claim anything as coming from us; that our sufficiency comes from God who qualifies us to be anything worthwhile as ministers of the gospel. This calls for total humility on the part of mortal man and for a total surrender of all praises and honour to God who makes everything possible in our lives. This belief and teaching does not negate the other truth that the God who created us without our cooperation cannot save us without our cooperation. We have to do something that God would then bless us with many. He blesses the works of our hands and the good efforts we make in cooperation with his Holy Will. We cannot sit down in idleness waiting for God to accomplish everything for us; he created us with the intellect and endowed us with wisdom for us to use them to work according to his will to achieve greatness by the blessing he gives us. The fact that we do something sincerely and proficiently does not give credence and credit sorely to us humans. Every honest effort of man becomes good when God approves of it and blesses it. Someone can labour more strenuously than you and yet gets nothing in return but the little effort you make that is blessed by God fetches you tremendous and enormous blessings. It is wrong to see a human being claiming credit for all he has and are. We pray that we may have respect for the good laws of the land and the Church and that we may learn the obedience of the law like the people of Israel who heard God in the pillars of the cloud, obeyed his decrees and statutes and were blessed.
We pray that humans being may learn to be humble and thankful to God for all that they are and have, Amen. Rev.
Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf