Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Homily 14th Sunday of Year B: Fr. Michael U. Udoekpo

Homily 14th Sunday of Year B: Fr. Michael U. Udoekpo
Readings:  Ezekiel 2:2-5; Ps 123:1-2, 2, 3-4; 2 Cor 12:7-10 and Mark 6:1-6

God’s Grace is Sufficient unto Us

As we celebrate the 14th Sunday today, we are reminded in  the Bible readings that the Grace of God is sufficient unto each of us, wherever we are, and in our various states of life.

This promise goes back to the time of Prophet Ezekiel, a prophet of Exile. Ezekiel must have been among those deported to exile in Babylon. Life was hard. They suffered a deep sense of loss of land, dignity and properties. And there was sorrow and bitterness everywhere. This is well captured by Ps 85, Ps 126 and of course Psalm 137 “by the rivers of Babylon, there we sat mourning and weeping…” With sufferings, especially the type in exile, one can easily derail from God.  Ezekiel lived among these tempted and rebellious exiled but was called and sent by God, as a prophet among them. His presence and mission was a sign of God’s sufficient presence among  his people, in their trials,  humiliaitons, temptations, weaknesses and  personal crises of idolatries.

The Second Reading of today also presupposes faith crises and problems between Paul and the Church in Corinth. Even in the midst of these persecutions, and perhaps all kinds of oppositions to his Gospel, plus his personal weaknesses, Paul felt God saying to him, Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weaknesses.”  With this, Paul realizes that even with insult, opposition, hardships, persecutions and  his personal weaknesses  it was only in Christ  that sufficient grace amd strength could be found.

In the Gospel (Mark 6:1-6) Christ himself was opposed, rebelled against, and taken for granted by his own people in Nazareth. He was rejected. They thought Christ being born into poverty in the home of Mary and Joseph, a carpenter; he would have been weak, less educated and left with insufficient knowledge and wisdom to teach and share. But as the Son of God, and Prophet who came from the Father to do the Will of His Father, His Father’s Grace was sufficient unto Him. He laid hands and cured the sick particularly those who had faith.

We all have our own challenges, oppositions, hardships, insults, personal weaknesses and illnesses. Even our freedom of worship is sometimes denied where there are many other crises on our faith journeys. In all these we want to imitate Christ. We want to imitate Ezekiel and be prophets  and agents of evangelization to our neighbors. We want to imitate Paul and listen to God whispers into our ears that, “His Grace is sufficient to us, for power is made perfect in weaknesses.”