Homily for Wednesday of the 9th Week in Ordinary Time Circle II
Theme: Rekindle the gift that is within you in order to merit resurrection.
By: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
Homily for Wednesday June 3 2020
READINGS: 2 Tim. 1: 1-3, 6-12, Ps. 123, Mark 12: 18-27(St Charles Lwanga & Co)
Jesus Christ made discipleship a thing of or a call to suffering and persecution. Little wonder he said that anyone who wishes to follow him must take up the cross and follow him. All those who followed him suffered great persecutions and many of the early followers died for it. Up till today many honest and convinced followers suffer and die for their faith. The Church today celebrates such people as Charles Lwanga and his companions who suffered and died for their faith in Uganda and refused to accept the impure desires of King Mwanga of Uganda. When they refused to do his evil and non-Christian request on them, he killed them by the sword and burning. These are the types that followed people like Paul who had to suffer terribly in the hands of the Jewish authorities for refusing to dance to the dictates of their songs.
Gifts are gratuitous and something extended to someone to own or possess when that person does not have a right to make its claim but the rightful owner decides to allow him/her to have it. The one who gives a gift has something in mind in the giving and most often has expectations of what the receiver would do with it and so keeps an eye on him/her to see what use it will be made of. God is the Father of every good gift in his Son through the Spirit. In the parable of the talents we are meant to understand that the Father God allots gifts to all his servants and expects them to work with it and make gains. God left no one without any gift. He does not make the gifts equal but gives each according to his natural endowments and ability to utilize it because he does not want any gift to be redundant but to be put to good use. It is often the truth or seen that many people live their lives as if they received no gift from God. Many are even ignorant of what they have and behave like the Ephesians who said to Paul that they have never even heard of anything called the Holy Spirit.
Beloved, St Paul in his letter to his disciple Timothy makes us know that we are all endowed with the gift of the Holy Spirit and should not allow it to be dormant but rekindle it. First he made him know that part of allowing the gift to shine out is to serve God and humanity with a clear conscience. It is in the lively and good conscience that we can appreciate and nourish the gifts we have. If the conscience is dead, we would not even worry about anything called the gift or can we have qualms of conscience that we have not put it into work or use. A living conscience helps us to judge ourselves and to examine what we do. Many a time we accept to become God-fathers to people in the reception of the sacraments and like in baptism we are asked if we understand what that duty calls us and we often respond in the positive. The Church even at that mentions and reminds us of our duties towards the spiritual growth of the person. The problem is that many people keep appearing in the Church as sponsors of people at sacraments but do almost nothing in seeing to it that their spiritual child receives spiritual nourishment and growth. Here today, St Paul has taught us a great lesson to oversee what our children and wards do and help them to progress spiritually. Our help and training of our children even parents is not just in education in formal schools and provision of accommodation, food and clothing and other essential amenities but chiefly is the spiritual and moral training of them. We must keep in them constant reminder and checks on them to see to it that they grow in the maturity of faith and life of holiness; this was what Paul did.
Beloved, St Paul reminds us through his admonition to Timothy that we should put to action the gifts that God gave us and fan it into flame; that we did not receive the spirit of timidity that makes us afraid of proclaiming the gospel and suffering for it. We received the spirit of love of God and neighbour and then self control as Peter advised us on Monday. Christians are called to resist shame and shyness and anything that would put fear in them in the proclamation of their faith in the word of God. We should resist any reason to be cowards in faith by avoiding doing the hard and odd jobs for the sake of the faith we received. Our faith teaches us the hope of resurrection of the dead who lived a righteous life and that the life after death is an immaterial one but purely of spiritual gain. We do not go there to inherit things of this earth or its likes. This is why Jesus disgraced and silenced the Sadducees who thought that they are clever in inventing mythological nonsense story to rubbish the faith we have in the resurrection of the dead. In heaven we shall all live like the angels and praise and worship God as our food and satisfaction and will not concern ourselves with these worldly things that enslave us and keep us in bondage and unhappiness of finding ways to acquire them. Our God is a living God and would make those who believe in him to live forever on the last day of their earthly existence; this is why he said that he is God of the living not of the dead.
We pray the Lord to help us keep our eyes on him and his teachings and utilization of our gifts till he shows us his mercy. Let God help us to remove timidity but embrace courage and strength of the Holy Spirit till we achieve the life of resurrection, Amen. We pray that St Charles Lwanga and companions would intercede for us to use our gifts well and to be ready to suffer preserving it and putting it at the service of God and be ready to die for it, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf