Homily Sunday Week 4 Year C- Fr. Michael U. Udoekpo
Readings: Jer 1:4-5, 17-19; Ps 71:1-6, 15, 17; 1 Cor 12:31–13:13 and Luke 4:21-30
The strength for our Christian Journey is Love
Our Christian calling is like preparing for a pilgrimage or a long journey. It requires some home work and of course endurance on the way.
The strength for any Christian and Spiritual journey is Love! Of course not just any type of love. But the type Paul preaches for the troubled Corinthians Church. For Paul, Love is patient, love is kind; love is not jealous, love is not pompous, love is not inflated, love is not rude, love does not seek its own interest, love is not quick-tempered, love does not brood over injuries, love does not rejoice over wrong doings. Love rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things; hope all things, and endures all things.
When Jeremiah was called centuries ago, even before Paul to be a prophet to all the nations, to challenge faithlessness, idolatries of his time of late pre-exilic period, his excuse was that he was too young. Jeremiah did not know that before he was born, God had already prepared him with his love. He makes Jeremiah as strong as fortified city and his strength Scripture says was as strong as an iron pillar and a bronze wall. This is the strength that will resist all attack and temptations; the strength of patient, and endurance.
At the commencement of his ministry, Jesus knew people would ridicule him. He knew he would be rejected. But he did not blink because he knew he had the strength that only God his father can give; the strength of love. The more reason he said,
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to Lord….today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing,” Christ concluded ( Luke 4).
It was this love that enabled Jeremiah to preach to the nations of his time, even to the point of death. It was this love that enable Christ to visit with the poor, the needy, the marginalized and the oppressed; that ultimate love to the cross.
On our Christian journeys, on our faith journeys I have no doubt there have been challenges; challenges in our relationship with God and one another at homes, in our families and work places.
We want Christ's love to be our strength. And love is nothing else than, hope, faith, trust, patient, humility, selflessness, endurance and kindness towards one another.