Saturday homily for the 24th week in Ordinary Time Cycle I
Theme: JESUS IS CALLING US TO A HIGHER LEVEL OF RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
By: Rev Fr Utazi Prince Marie Benignus Zereuwa
Homily for Saturday September 18 2021
MEMORIAL OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY*
1 Timothy 6: 13-16; Psalm 100: 1b-2, 3, 4; Luke 8:4-15
I pray for you: May you continue to be open to the Lord Jesus as He shares the Good News with you and may the Word produce abundant effects in your life and spill joyfully into the lives of others. AMEN
In the First Reading, Paul charges Timothy to continue to do what he has been called to do until Jesus returns to unite all the faithful with His Father. As St. Paul comes to the end of this letter to Timothy, he urges his protégé (student, disciple) to remain faithful to the teachings and commandments which have come from the Lord Jesus, through Paul, to him. Timothy will be enabled to do so if he is ever aware, through faith, of the presence of the Lord Jesus Who is coming again for the final revelation of the mystery of God.
The Responsorial Psalm reminds us that we need to joyfully realize that we are in the presence of the Lord God. The psalm is a pilgrim hymn recounting the joy of coming into the presence of God with joy. The gladness flows from a realization of the relationship the Lord has with those who are members of the flock of God.
In the Gospel Jesus relates the parable of the sower scattering the seed, some of which falls on good soil and produces abundantly. In order to teach the message of the power of the Word of God has in the life of one who spreads the faith, Jesus tells the parable of the sower who scatters seed. The full meaning of the parable is not given to the crowd. Jesus reserves the explanation of the parable to His disciples. The seed is the Word of God which bears abundant growth when it is planted in Good soil. Sometimes the Word falls upon individuals who are not prepared to fully receive the Word because of external or internal distractions or obstacles. Only the soil that is really ready for the Word will produce a hundredfold.
Dear Sisters and Brothers, you have been called by God to your ministry, whether it be instructing children in the faith, ministering at the altar, working with teens, serving those who are experiencing the lost of loved one, or any other caring of people. You are being lifted up to a newer level of relationship with the Lord Jesus and in doing so the whole faith community is also being lifted up to a higher awareness of the Divine Presence. Today’s readings are reminding us that we are called to model two very important aspects of the life of Jesus Christ: His incarnation and His exaltation on the cross. Through their acceptance of God’s call, we are called, like Mary, to be the place where the Word of God takes flesh again. Not in the sense of Jesus being physically born as a human, but in the sense of the Word of God coming to those in need, in the very flesh and skin of those who serve. For when the modern disciples of Jesus brings His Word to those whom they serve, the Word (Jesus) is enfleshed in the hands and mouth and being of the one who announces the Good News in speech and actions.
Again, those who minister in the community should embody the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus. They are to be physical reminders of the love which was manifested by Jesus in His death on the cross. Part of the way they could do that would be through their attitude of prayer. An attitude of prayer includes not just the awareness of God’s constant presence in their lives, but in the way they pray. A physical reminder of that was suggested: standing with arms raised up, in the form of Jesus hanging on the cross. While praying in the cruciform stance, they were to be reminded of the total submission and surrender to God that they were being asked to do, just as their Master completely surrendered to His Father on the cross.
Dearly beloved, each one of us who accepts the call of the Lord Jesus is called to be in the ever expanding process of drawing further into the presence of, and relationship to, the Lord Jesus and His Father through the working of the Holy Spirit. It should be a joyful experience not only for ourselves but for those whom we are called to serve; for responding to the Lord Jesus means serving those whom God calls us to serve, just as Paul reminded Timothy. When we say that we are the servants of the Lord Jesus, it means we must translate the experience of our relationship with the Lord to others. The Word of God has been planted in the soil of our being, we are to allow it to produce hundredfold not only in our lives, but also in the people whose lives we touch. The more we are willing to be in prayer, particular with the attitude of the Crucified One, the more we will be able to translate God’s Word so that others will fully understand the Word as God intends them to know the Word.
*MEDITATION* How open am I to the Word of God taking root in me and producing abundant growth for my own sake and the sake of others? What can I do to become more fertile ground in which the Word of God can produce its effect?
*PRAYER* Lord God, we ask that you continue to allow Your Holy Spirit to till our soil with wisdom and understanding so that we can be the place where Your Son, the Word, takes flesh again as we live out our call to share the Word with others through our teaching and acts of service. May we continue to lift up our hands in the attitude of the One Who was crucified for us and may we share our experience of the love we have received from the One Who completely abandoned Himself to You for our sake. Through Christ Our Lord.
*O DIVINE WORD WHO TOOK FLESH FOR HUMAN SAKE, REDEEM US IN OUR SITUATION*
© Rev Fr Utazi Prince Marie Benignus Zereuwa