Homily for Wednesday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time Year A
Theme: Strive to be faithful in everything.
By: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
Homily for Wednesday November 20 2019
READING: 2 Macc. 7: 1, 20-31, Ps 17, Luke. 19: 11-28
Yesterday we saw the noble and courageous witness of Eleazar and the deposit of faith in his belief. This may have strengthened the seven young men born of a woman as seen in the first reading today. They were tested with the same ritualistic swine meat and they like Eleazar refused to eat it and encouraged by their mother proved faithful in their belief and had strong faith in God by dying in heroic manner.
Beloved, it is difficult to know what gave the woman (mother of the seven) manful courage to encourage her sons to die for what they believe and remain faithful till death. It is not humanly possible to see a woman who gave birth to seven children and nurtured them through many years of toil to allow them all to die in one single day when it was easy to merely eat meat which is not deadly and be alive for her. This must have been a supernatural intervention that pushed both the woman and the sons to do that. It is good to live in a manner that is admirable and worthy of honourable memory. We can live on in the minds of people and be alive in the history of all times only if we leave behind heroic memories like these seven young men whom the world celebrates in the first reading today. Nobody heard the names of several millions of people who ate the swine to please the king and escaped death. They lived for a while that time (longer than that day) yet they later died and till today have remained dead in the memory of the world. It is the life we lead that would determine if we can be entrusted with what type of responsibility. To whom much is given, much is expected and to whom who proves faithful and worthy of whatever he/she is given, better responsibilities and honour will be accorded.
Beloved, we are each entrusted with responsibilities through the grace of God in the gifts he has allotted to us. No one is without a gifts and all are not equally gifted but each according to his natural ability. What matters is what we are able to produce and make out of the little entrusted to us not how big it was but whether anything substantial comes out of it. In the gospel of today the nobleman who has servants had to give each of them certain gifts and not the same thing and upon his return he had to get the account of their stewardship.
Some came up with something more than they received while one did not produce anything from the gift he had. He was too careful as not to take a risk of doing something, rather he was finding faults and pointing accusing finger on his master’s life. This man may be better than some of us who would not even bring back safely and complete what we were given but destroy them and lose them completely having nothing to account for. No farmer would feel happy planting a tree that should produce fruits and at the due time, he sees the tree occupying the land and yet produces nothing. This noble man is God who gives each of us some gifts intending that we use them to win souls and produce something more for the growth of his kingdom. On his return on the last day (parousea) he would expect us to bring him the fruits of our honest labour. Some would definitely come along with more harvests while some would come with nothing and those with nothing would disappoint the master and would not receive any praise but a scolding and punishment. The account must definitely be given sometime by everybody. We are reminded about this time of reckoning and the reward of faithfulness of the seven young men today as we gradually come to the end of the Church’s liturgical year. This end of the year reminds us that sometime, sooner or later our earthly life would also come to an end. The moment of accounting for our stewardship must come surely. Each should decide what account to give.
May the Lord help us with his grace to sustain and utilize the gifts he has given us. May we be counted among those servants who would produce a hundred and thousand folds and be praised for doing well. May we not be spiritually redundant and unproductive but be filled with spiritual fecundity, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf