Homily for Wednesday of the 2nd Week of Lent Year A
Theme: Should evil be a recompense for good?
By: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
Homily for Wednesday March 11 2020
READINGS: Jer. 18: 18-20, Ps. 31, Mt. 20: 17-28
Lent is a period that calls us to stop our evil ways and learn to do good. There is no time evil can be a recompense for good, there is no reason and time that evil can be justified. The season condemns the human wickedness of some to put others into trouble. Some people feel challenged by the good lives of others, such people feel intimidated by others’ rightful attitude to things which they cannot do. The presence of such people poses threats to them since they are perpetually challenged and cannot stand this intimidation; they resort to cheap blackmail and at the extreme, maim and kill such people.
The first reading presents us with the plight of Jeremiah whose righteous life challenges the life of the numerous people who could not meet up the dictates of right living. The people plotted to do away with him by deciding to kill him and give him a fake accusation. A lot of people suffer in the society today for several reasons that do not warrant the problems they go through. Some suffer for the sake of insisting on the right way of doing things, others suffer for not following the crowd and doing business as usual, some suffer because they refused to be bought over to the wrong side. Many suffer for the cause of truth and preservation of good and orderly way of doing things; some suffer because they refused to be bribed, to undertake in immoral acts or refused to be corrupted.
The attack on the innocent is prophesied by Jesus in the gospel as his lot. The Son of man like Jeremiah is to be delivered to the chief priests and Scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and deliver him to the Gentiles to be scourged and mocked and crucified. Beloved Christians, the faithful child of God must not allow himself/herself to be intimidated and made to drop the good life he/she is leading. Suffering and punishment should not deter the Christians from being on the right path since our predecessors in faith suffered such and did not end up in the shame and scandal of the suffering. Christ made it clear that whoever wished to follow him should take up daily cross and follow. If the Father did not spare his own Son from suffering, who then can be exonerated? It is the one that the Father loves that he chastises. The real follower of Christ should be ready to drink the cup that Christ drank and be baptized with the baptism that he was baptized. This cup and baptism is nothing but suffering for the sake of righteousness.
The good news that accompanies the right sufferings of the true Christian is that after all the scourging, mocking and deliverance to death, the true Christian is raised up as Christ on the third day. He will surely be delivered as in the tune of the prayer of Jeremiah. In the midst of this suffering for the cause of good, a Christian is to be patient and faithful and then pray like Jeremiah: Give heed to me, O Lord and listen to my plea. Remember how I stood before you to speak good for them, to turn away your wrath from them. Can we in conscience pray like this? Save me, O Lord, in your merciful love, release me from the snares they have hidden, for you indeed are my refuge; into your hands I commend my spirit. You will redeem me Lord.
We pray that the good deeds we have performed for righteousness sake would not be our doom from the hand of wicked and grateful sinners. We ask God that as the enemy dig a pit for us to fall and place stumbling blocks on our ways, may our innocence save us and may the Lord turn away their wrath far from reaching and affecting us. Lord, grant us the heart of service for all and readiness to take the pains therein and grant us the grace like Christ to give our lives and our convenience as ransom for many to be saved, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf