Homily for Wednesday of the 23rd Week in Ordinary Time Cycle II
Theme: The Journey of Christian Life
By: Fr. Francis Onwunali
Homily for Wednesday September 9 2020
MEMORIAL OF ST. PETER CLAVER
We celebrate today, the Memorial of St. Peter Claver. Peter was born of a distinguished family in Catalonia, Spain in 1581. He became a Jesuit in 1604, and left for Colombia in 1610, dedicating himself to the service of black slaves. For thirty-three years he ministered to slaves, caring for the sick and dying, and instructing the slaves through catechists, for he said: “We must speak to them with our hands, before we try to speak to them with our lips”. Through his efforts about three hundred thousand souls were won for Christ and entered the Church. Peter died on September 8, 1654, canonized a saint on January 15, 1888 by Leo XIII and proclaimed patron and protector of the negros.
The readings present us with practical ways of living our lives as Christians, disciples of Christ. In the gospel (Luke 6: 20-26), the evangelist, Luke, presents to us his version of the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes. Jesus began by addressing the issue of where true happiness can be found. Jesus’ way of happiness, however, demands a transformation from within- a conversion of heart and mind which can only come about through the gift of the Holy Spirit. Jesus gives assurance of our situations turning around for good if we remain focused in Him.
St. Paul writing early in his ministry (1 Cor 7: 25-31) spoke of “immanent eschatology”, believing Jesus was coming back in no distant time. Though he changed this understanding later in life, he encouraged the Corinthians to see everything as transitory and focus more on their relationship with God.
Dear friends, the Christian life we are called to live is not occassional, rather it is holistic to our everyday life. Do I wear different “garments” for different aspects of my life? Or do I seek constantly to wear the “virtuous garment” of my Christian identity.
I pray as we journey in life today, we will be humble in heart so as to experience the true source of abundant life and happiness. May we continue to hunger and thirst for God alone- the source of our being, for all other things will eventually be given to us. May the suffering and persecution we go through today be turned into glory and testimony of happiness. Have a splendour-full day!
-Fr. Francis Onwunali