Short homily for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year C
Theme: CHOOSE GOD AND CHANGE YOUR STORY
BY: Fr Livinus Igbodekwe
Homily for Sunday March 20 2022
One’s life time is made up of stories. As one lives, one keeps on making up his/her story. At the end of life, one full story is told. This full story from crib to grave is called biography. Every biography is either good or bad depending on how one ended up his/her life. In a social sense, men are seen as failures for they ended up failing. Others are seen as successful because no matter the phases of challenges, they triumphed. In a religious sense, some are seen as saints for it is believed that they made heaven, while others are seen as sinners for they were seen as evil even at the point of death. The worthwhileness of life is more on the life lived that on the time of death. How well lived is better than how long lived. Jesus emphasises this in the Gospel concerning those who died in a fatal tragedy. Those who are alive usually count themselves as more blessed and favoured just because many they know have died while they are still alive. Length of life is not really the measure of God’s mercy and blessing because even the dead can be better than the living. Eccl. 4:1 says, And I declared that “The dead, who had already died, are happier than the living, who are still alive.” Again, the death of the faithful is precious in God’s sight (Psalm 115:16). What matters is if one keeps the faith at the point of death.
Moses left his place of destiny which was Egypt and settled at Midian, taking care of Jethro’s sheep instead of taking care of his assignment of delivering God’s people. The Lord was silent over his call for 40 good years. He spent 40 years taking care of his temporal needs while the Lord’s assignment was left unattended. At 80, God shows up at his temporal space, in the midst of his hustle, to tell him that he is yet about to start life. when you live only for yourself, you are yet not living until you start living for others. Your destiny is attached to people not to self. Moses wandered far into the wilderness in search of pasture until he met a ‘burning green’. The Angel of God’s presence descended on the grass to get Moses’ attention. God knows where and how to get our attention for He knows where our attentions are. He gets us inquisitive which will engender the finding of the sacred presence. However, we can’t come too close, because the volume and density of the sacred can overwhelm and maim us. The ‘fiery shekinah’ of the presence didn’t consume the grasses, why? The fire of God consumes but doesn’t destroy arbitrarily. Many Christians like the ‘consuming, destructive fire image of God’, more than any of the other images of clemency and tolerance of God. That’s why ‘Holy Ghost Fire’ prayer is most common among some christian groups today. But let me ask, “If the Lord would consider the grasses that He doesn’t consume them as part of his glorious epiphany, why would God ever choose to consume or destroy a human being?
It was only when Moses responded to the call of God and returned back to Egypt that he started fulfilling destiny. 80 years was wasted and his life has to start at 80 instead of at 40, as many would say. His age didn’t matter. What mattered was his life with God. It was the remaining 40 years of his life that changed Moses’ story dramatically and gloriously.
Friends, try and live in God and live for people. Whether you die by accident or by an inferno, what matters is not whether you died young or you died old. What matters is that you lived for God and for other people!