Homily for Friday of the 26th Week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Job 38:1.12-21; 40:3-5, Psalm 139:1-14 and Luke 10:13-16
“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.” (Luke 10:13)
On my way to the office yesterday, a man along the road pleaded for a ride. He was going in my direction, so I agreed to take him. I noticed that as soon as he sat down, he brought out his Bible and started flipping through the pages for a while. Then he smiled, looked at me and asked: “Are you a priest?” I said; “Yes.” I wondered why he asked that question because I was obviously on my cassock and boldly written on my vehicle were the words: “ST. AGATHA CATHOLIC CHURCH.”
He then asked again: “What type of priest are you?” I knew he was getting somewhere so I answered: “I am a Catholic priest.” He smiled even further and began to read from his bible. There was a Christian song playing on the car stereo so I turned it off so that his voice would be audible. I was expecting him to ask me “Are you born again?” I was waiting anxiously to hear that question so that I would download unto him some sound theology on the meaning of baptism
However, he started telling me about his own life; he had been a Christian for so many years but somehow he knew he didn’t really have a deep connection with God. He attended Church services but he basically had no fear of God. In his own eyes, he was just a good person. For him, there was really no need to read the Bible on a daily basis or to even try to follow it. Prayers were not so important to him and there was never any real effort to try to convert or win a soul for Christ. His primary aspirations in life were comfort, pleasure and security. He was a Christian but he sort to be like everyone else; to just enjoy what life has to offer.
All this would change the day he decided to dedicate his life to Christ. It was as though scales fell from his eyes and he realized he had being blind as a nominal Christian. Even those things he felt were just normal now became very grievous sins in his eyes. For the first time since he was born, he had the fear of God and he would weep for even the slightest offence against God. He found his Bible so enjoyable that he would spend long hours reading and reading until he finished it once, twice and now uncountable times. As he spoke, you can feel the joy radiating from him like a child who has nothing whatsoever to worry about.
As I dropped him off, he thanked me profusely for the lift and more importantly for listening to him. He didn’t ask me if I was born again but in the silence that ensued after I was left alone, that would be the only question on my mind. It was then I understood the meaning of the question he asked: “What type of priest are you?” In today’s Gospel passage, we see that Jesus is not happy with the people of Chorazin and Bethsaida because despite witnessing so many miracles, they refused to repent and turn away from their sins.
Like these people, a lot of us are Christians for convenience sake; we are not really committed to walking according to the footsteps of Christ. We are living in sin but have become too blind to see anything wrong in the evils we do. We think we are good but we lack that interior commitment to grow spiritually. For us, God is just one of those things and the Bible is such a boring book written for people of ancient times; full of far-reaching ideals impossible to practice. Sure we go to Church, we are excited at good preaching; we sing praises and dance to the latest Gospel and non-Gospel hits but we do not allow any of these to bear practical relevance in our lives. As we close from Church so do we close from Christ hoping to resume in the next Mass (or Service).
The real problem with many of us Christians today is that we do not recognize there is any problem with sin. Miracles often get us excited, they remind us that God exists, that He is very near to us but then, we must know that the ultimate miracle is our repentance from sin.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, may I not think only of what I am getting from you but of what I am giving to you. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you.