Thursday, June 14, 2012

Homily 11th Sunday of Ordinary Time Year B: Fr. Michael U. Udoekpo

Homily 11th Sunday of Ordinary Time Year B: Fr. Michael U. Udoekpo
Readings: Ezekiel 17:22-24; Psalm 92:2-3, 13-14, 15-16; 2 Cor 5:1-10 and Mark 4:26-34

 We walk by Faith Not by Sight (2 Cor 5:6-10)

 In every 3rd Sunday in June we celebrate Father’s Day in the United States of America. Historically this memorial dates back to the mining tragic incidence involving many fathers in 1907 in Monongah, West Virginia. Like the mother’s day celebration, today with joy we are reminded of the place of our fathers, teachers, mentors or father figures in our lives. The love, the shoes, the care, the clothing, the protection and tuition fees, name them!

Spiritually, it reminds us of God’s role; the role of the “Father of fathers” in our life’s journeys. Our faith history, past, present and future is watched over by God. This is true in the Bible readings of today, which reaches back to the time of Zedekiah, Christ and Paul, leaving lessons for us to learn.

 In the concluding section of the parable of the eagle (Ezek 17:22-24) Prophet Ezekiel explains how God protects those who trust him. He compares Christ with King Zedekiah, Jehoiachin’s uncle dethroned and deported to Babylon (2 Kings 24:11-16). Zedekiah rebelled and broke his oath and faith in God, in the face of the threat of “the eagle” Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. Zedekiah allowed himself to be tricked into death, by Pharaoh, the king of Egypt (2 Kings 25:1-6).

  Remember, God does not like this sort of disobedience, oath breaking and faithlessness orchestrated by Zedekiah.  Although he is removed the Lord will provide Israel with a messiah from a lowly root, namely Christ as prophesied Israel’s prophets (Isa 9:6-7).
The tender branch that will be removed and planted on a lofty mountain, in the first reading is nothing, but the presence of the promised messiah (Isa 4:2; 11:1; Jer 23:5; 33:15; Zech 3:8) in the Church, the mountain. The high tree,, is Zedekiah, with accompanying acts of disobedience and faithlessness shall be brought low, while the humble tree Christ, faithfulness and his values shall be exalted.

 This remings us of Mary, the Mother and Joseph her husband in the mysteries of the infancy narratives (Luke 1­–2 and Matthew 1–2).  They walked by faith, and aspire to serve and please the Lord. He says, “we walk by faith and not by sight,” (2 Cor 5:6-10). 

With faith the humanly impossible becomes divinely possible. Faith makes meaningful to us not the parable of the eagles in prophet Ezekiel but also the parable of the smallest  scattered seed which grows and springs up once planted to become the largest plants in the farm (Mark 4:26-34). Each of us has a place in the kingdom even with the minutest of our faith and acts of love.

In the face of adversities, mysteries, disappointment,  threats, bad economy, unfaithfulness,  insult, war, famine, illness, lose of loved ones, many of our parents, particularly our fathers know how to persevere, love their wives and children or teach us endurance, patience, care and forgiveness.  

We want to honor our husbands today. We want to pray for our fathers and father figures today, including our mentors and teachers, our brothers, friends, nephews and uncles. We want to appreciate them. And share in the gifts that God has blessed them with, especially the gift of faith in God, the Father of all fathers. For we “walk by faith and not by sight.”